For a Terrebonne, the home place is the safe haven, the convergence of waters, the place where the beloved dead are as real as the living. . . .
The only Terrebonne who made it out, Alma thought she was done with Montana, with its cruel poverty, bleak winters, and stifling ways. Hard work and steely resolve got her to Yale, and now she's an attorney in a high-profile Seattle law firm, too consumed by her career to think about the past. But an unexpected call from the Montana police takes the successful lawyer back to her provincial hometown and pulls her into the family trouble she thought she'd escaped.
Her lying, party-loving younger sister, Vicky, is dead. The Billings police say that a very drunk Vicky wandered away from a party and died of exposure after a night in the brutal cold. The strong one who fled Billings and saved herself, Alma returns to make Vicky's funeral arrangements and see to her eleven-year-old niece, Brittany. Once she is back in town, Alma discovers that Vicky's death may not have been an accident.
Needing to make her peace with the sister she left behind, Alma sets out to find the truth, an emotional journey that leads her to the home place, her grandmother Maddie's house on the Montana plains that has been the center of the Terrebonne family for generations. She re-encounters Chance, her first love, whose presence reminds her of everything that once was . . . and everything that might be. But before she can face the future, Alma must acknowledge the truth of her own life--the choices that have haunted her and ultimately led her back to this place.
The Home Place is a story of secrets that will not lie still, human bonds that will not break, and crippling memories that will not be silenced. It is a story of rural towns and runaways, of tensions corporate and racial, of childhood trauma and adolescent betrayal, and of the guilt that even forgiveness cannot ease. Most of all, it is a story of the place we carry in us always: home.
Read an excerpt HERE.
"A successful attorney living in a Seattle high-rise, Alma Terrebonne has distanced herself from her rural Montana roots and pushed painful adolescent memories and troubled family members as far away as she can manage. At the opening of The Home Place , Carrie Le Seur's gripping debut novel, Alma is jolted from her fast-paced, comfortable life when she hears the news of her younger sister's sudden death. Back in Billings Alma must grapple with her sister's demons, fight a predatory coal company and ultimately face issues that she has been running away from for years.
Any novel of the West worth its salt honors the landscape as a character shaper and a character itself. The sweep of the land, the bitter winter cold and the endless sky populate The Home Place as memorably as its many quirky, troubled, compelling and very human residents.
I loved The Home Place , a deeply satisfying page turner filled with heart, human foible and a transcendent link to the land."
More praise for the book:
“Walloping in suspense, drama, rage, and remorse, this debut is an accomplished literary novel of the new West.” ~Library Journal
“La Seur makes a very assured debut. Her characters are rich and believable; the plot is perfectly paced with mystery and romance enough to keep the reader hooked. And it’s all played against a beautifully drawn Montana backdrop.” ~Booklist
“La Seur entices readers with impeccable prose imbued with a blend of romance, nostalgia and suspense.” ~Kirkus Reviews
“Upon returning to Montana in the wake of her younger sister’s mysterious death, Alma Terrebonne learns that her family’s past is just as wild and unpredictable as the unforgiving natural world. And like the natural world, Alma’s family has only one law: Survival. Like thin ice on the face of a frozen lake, once this novel is cracked open it’ll pull you in and dare you to come up for air. In Alma Terrebonne, Carrie La Seur has forged a heroine who’s just as smart as her creator. The Home Place is a lot of things: a mystery, a crime drama, a family saga, and – most importantly – a very, very good book.” ~Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author of This Dark Road to Mercy