Disclaimer: This is not the type of book I usually read or review. Deborah Smith's books have some bad language and sexual references. However, this is the third book I have read by this author, and I find her characters deep and interesting, her references to families- imperfect but bound by love - sweet and touching, and her obvious Southern heritage charming.
Roan Sullivan is from "the other side of the tracks," but young Claire befriends him despite the misgivings of her very large and opinionated family. The two grow up together. But, tragedy strikes, and they are separated. For twenty years, Claire is not even sure Roan is still alive, but she is always searching for him. When she finally meets up with Roan again, she needs him as he always needed her. But, they have secrets to reveal and relationships to resolve before they all come home again.
The love story in this book is sweet and touching. The relationship between Claire and Roan as children will be refreshing to anyone who has ever cheered for the underdog and befriended the cast off. The importance of family and place are very important in this, as in many of Smith's books. This theme of "family isn't perfect, but they are important" is key in many of Smith's books; and A Place to Call Home is the same. Sweet, tender, compelling: I thought this was a good read.