by Jenny Wingfield
In Arkansas in the 1950s, the Moses clan goes home for their annual reunion. Father John commits suicide, and son-in-law Samuel Lake discovers that the Methodist Church has declined to renew his contract as a minister, so the family decides to stay on until things are calmer. Eleven year old Swan Lake befriends an 8 year old neighbor who is being brutally abused by his cruel father. When Ras Ballenger turns his fury on Swan, Samuel rescues her and kills Ras. An honest man, Samuel arrives at the Sheriff’s office to confess, only to find that his brother in law has already done so in order to clear his conscience over a different murder he had gotten away with years ago. I really enjoyed the characters, who were funny, unpredictable, and quirky. This was Jenny Wingfield’s first book, published in 2011, and I hope she’s written more since!