HOMEPLACE by Anne Rivers Siddons


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Sometimes you have to go home again before you can go on,"" a character says in Siddons' (Fox's Earth, The House Next Door, Heartbreak Hotel) all-too predictable, sentimental novel about a woman who returns to her Southern roots to find herself. Forty-year-old Micah Winship ""jettisoned introspection"" 20 years ago when she stormed out of her father's house after a dispute over her participation in the civil rights movement. She moved to New York, married and divorced, became a successful journalist. But suddenly Micah's (always, precarious) life falls apart--her lover betrays her, her daughter drifts away, her apartment goes co-op. Then she gets a message: her father is dying and asking to see her. Micah has nowhere else to go, so she grudgingly returns home to Lytton, Georgia, and promptly begins an affair with her childhood sweetheart, Bayard Sewell. Meanwhile, her father announces his dying wish: to save the ""homeplace""--the house where he was born--from land developers. Helping the old man has been Sam Canaday, an erstwhile Baptist-preacher-turned-lawyer. Slowly, Micah begins to reconcile with her father, and when he leaves his sickbed to die in the wreckage of the homeplace, she comes to love him and the land he fought for. She rids herself of Bayard (who had been betraying her father) and grows closer to Sam. And she even manages to save a bit of the homeplace. ""That's the power of love,"" Sam tells her. ""It can make you whole."" An obvious tear-jerker of a story, but Siddons' characters manage to be touching, and oddly reassuring, in spite of it.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1987
Publisher: Harper & Row