Sense of place de­fines fam­ily re­la­tion­ships

Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life - OLINE H. COGDILL

Car­rie La Seur’s finely crafted de­but chron­i­cles a woman’s com­pli­cated re­la­tion­ship with her home­town of Billings, Mon­tana, her rel­a­tives who stayed be­hind and her an­ces­tral his­tory. La Seur’s grace­ful prose in The Home Place com­ple­ments her in­ci­sive char­ac­ter stud­ies of a fam­ily that has man­aged to keep most of its prob­lems be­hind closed doors.

Alma Terrebonne left Billings and the fam­ily’s “home place” more than 15 years ago to at­tend col­lege on a full schol­ar­ship, shortly af­ter her par­ents were killed in a car ac­ci­dent that maimed her younger sis­ter, Vicky. Now an at­tor­ney in Seat­tle, Alma only re­turns to Billings to at­tend fam­ily events.

Alma re­turns home when Vicky is found frozen to death. The sin­gle mother of 11-year-old Brit­tany, Vicky led a trou­bled life of drugs, bad boyfriends and debt. The Home Place Car­rie La Seur Wil­liam Moore

La Seur poignantly shows how char­ac­ters are in­flu­enced by a sense of place, af­fect­ing their choices in life.

The Home Place is one of the year’s strong­est de­buts.

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