The Home Place
Carrie La Seur
Morrow, Jul 29 2014, $25.95
On a freezing January night on the wrong side of the tracks in Billings, Montana, intoxicated Vicky walks the streets seeking to score pot from her ex Dennis. An early riser finds her body three blocks from the Kozinsky house where she and her tweener daughter Brittany have lived paying the rent by the adult having sex with the owner.
Vicky’s older sister Seattle lawyer Alma receives the call that her sibling died from exposure. Having avoided for five years going home as she hates Billings the site of terrible memories, Alma plans to take care of business as fast as she can so she can return ASAP to Washington State. Her biggest concern is for her eleven years old niece who needs a home, but she distrusts her volatile family even her big brother to take proper care of traumatized Brittany, mute since her mom died. As remorseful Vicky learns more about her estrange sister’s death, she begins to wonder if the tragedy was not alcoholic induced but instead a homicide.
This is a perceptive Big Sky family drama in which readers obtain a profound look at what shaped the two sisters to go on such diverse paths after their parents died when they were young with Vicky's death serving as a conduit into a dysfunctional extended family. Mindful of the frozen tundra in the movie Fargo, the stark Montana background enhances a strong saga with the only misstep being the “required” former boyfriend.