Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Homeplace Saga Books Reviewed


The Homeplace Saga Books Reviewed

Author William Leverne Smith has Integrated his deep passion for genealogy study and family history into the Homeplace Saga series of books. He has created this fictional community and brings the characters to life in this four-book series.

Back to the Homeplace

Murder by the Homeplace

The Homeplace Revisited

Christmas at the Homeplace

Back to the Homeplace

The book begins in February of 1987, just after Mildred Bevins has passed away. The funeral and the unusual terms of the will of Frank and Mildred Bevins bring all four children and their families back to the family farm, The Homeplace.

The farm is located in Oak Springs Missouri in the Ozark Mountains and has been in the family for over 150 years. Bart Bevins is especially concerned about the terms of the will, as he is the only one who stayed in Oak Springs to run the family farm. 

You will meet and come to know each member of the Bevins family. Learn about their different backgrounds, their family secrets, and see how each of them struggles to hold onto their share of the family legacy. All while dealing with their own family secrets and problems.


Murder by the Homeplace

This is a short story that begins one week after the end of “Back to the Homeplace” A body is found on the Bevins property. This brings some of the secondary characters from the first novel to the main characters in this short story.  Introducing Penny Nixon a part-time reporter for the local newspaper. Penny springs into action and begins a series of interviews hoping for a story when the body is found. Penny is warned by her father who is also the editor of the newspaper to keep it to a human-interest story and do not get too involved. You will see how dangerously close that she comes to interviewing the real killer.


The Homeplace Revisited

The family saga continues, now in 1996 nine years later. The family has survived so much conflict, but there is more to come. 

Learn how the grandchildren of Frank and Mildred Bevins carry on, side by side with their parents to run the family business now known as the“The Bevins Trust”.

 How they continue the family legacy and continue to build Oak Springs into a thriving small community of family and friends. 

Christmas at the Homeplace

Continued in 1996 Karen (Bevins) Winslow the oldest daughter of Frank and Mildred is expecting all of her children to return home to Oak Springs for Christmas. Will they all make it? Find out, along with some other surprises that may change the inner workings of the family business “The Bevins Trust”. This one was special to me, as I finished reading it on Christmas Eve.

For me, these four books were a wonderful read, as I have a big family myself. Oak Springs and the characters in these books were so real to me; it was like I lived there and knew every one of them.

This series of books takes you on a journey with the Bevins family,  starting in February of 1987 and ending in December of 1996.

The author places news blurbs at the beginning of every chapter. I enjoyed reading what was in the news on that day. So the reader has a little history lesson.

A quote from the author William Leverne Smith: “May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind.”

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12 comments:

  1. The Homeplace Saga sounds like a fascinating series of books. Growing up, I lived in a lot of different places within a small range of towns in the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York. My family may have moved around a lot, but the one constant - the one place that never changed - was my grandparents' house in Rochester. I tend to agree with Author William Leverne Smith's quote: “May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind.” My grandparent's house was MY 'homeplace' - the place that stayed the same. I have a feeling this 4-book series is in my future to read. Thanks for your review, Sam.

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    1. Thanks Pat, Our homeplace has always been my parents house, where my youngest brother still lives. Growing up both of my grandparents lived within 3 blocks of us. Along with aunts and uncles we were always so close.

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  2. Sam, I love family sagas that follow families across a period of time (and whose emphasis may shift from one family member to another as the series progresses). I have read a couple of books where the terms of a patriarch's or matriarch's will are written to bring together their children and/or grandchildren, some of whom might have been estranged, and encourage (or force) the siblings to get to know each other better and resolve old conflicts or resentments. I don't know whether any of that dynamic is at play in The Homeplace Saga, but as I said, I do love following a family's story over time, and think I would really enjoy this series. Thanks very much for an excellent review.

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    1. This was a really enjoyable read for me Margaret. The estranged dynamic certainly comes into play in this series of books. Thanks.

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  3. I also have a very big family. Even as an adult, I am often amazed at how seemingly childish interactions between siblings can be or how competitive family members can be (not all and not always). Death & wills spark memories that otherwise seem long forgotten. I only have 2 children, but writing my own will had me considering things that had never occurred to me before. I would imagine having a homestead would indeed, create unintended friction as parents wouldn't wish to leave anyone out, but the one who stayed would feel somewhat slighted. (No, I am not speaking from personal experience, only stating that I see the potential plot). Perhaps reading the book would allow us all to think through things before we, ourselves, are faced with unnecessary issues or upset. No doubt, this would be an excellent series that takes an in-depth look at the myriad of personalities that make up a family.

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    1. Many personalities come into play in this series of books. Some of our readers may remember the author from our Squidoo days. The Homeplace wasn't a #1 best seller, but was a very enjoyable read for me.

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  4. Oh I'm so jealous of everyone with a big family. I have a big family but don't know any of them. That would make reading this series good for me, I'll just adopt all of them. I love a good book and when I know there are 3 more to follow, I get just a little excited. Thanks for these recommendations Sam!

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    1. As you read this saga you get the feeling that you know and can identify with the characters. This is a real enjoyable read. Thanks Olivia.

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  5. The Homeplace saga of books sound an intriguing read. I have a feeling they would be great to read over the summer in the garden for some reason! I do not have a large family so it would be interesting to me to know how they interact and handle the challenges they face as a big family going through these changes.

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    1. I agree Jasmine, this would be a great summer read. It was interesting to follow the family members through the years.

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  6. Sam, the books sound fantastic. Thanks for the intro. Without all these book reviews on reviewthisreviews, I'd never know about half the good books out there. Saved this one.

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    1. Thanks Barbara, I really enjoyed reading this series of books. All of them are such an easy read. I agree, so many amazing book reviews here on reviewthisreviews.

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