Book Review: Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer
April 27, 2015
A brilliant, hilarious, and touching story with a Texas twist from Liza Palmer, author of Conversations With The Fat Girl (optioned for HBO)
Queenie Wake, a country girl from North Star, Texas, has just been fired from her job as a chef for not allowing a customer to use ketchup. Again. Now the only place she has to go is home to North Star. She can hope, maybe things will be different. Maybe her family’s reputation as those Wake women will have been forgotten. It’s been years since her mother-notorious for stealing your man, your car, and your rent money-was killed. And her sister, who as a teenager was branded as a gold-digging harlot after having a baby with local golden boy Wes McKay, is now the mother of the captain of the high school football team. It can’t be that bad…
Who knew that people in small town Texas had such long memories? And of course Queenie wishes that her memory were a little spottier when feelings for her high school love, Everett Coburn, resurface. He broke her heart and made her leave town-can she risk her heart again?
At least she has a new job-sure it’s cooking last meals for death row inmates but at least they don’t complain!
But when secrets from the past emerge, will Queenie be able to stick by her family or will she leave home again? A fun-filled, touching story of food, football, and fooling around.
Next month, I will be doing a guest blog post for my OTSP Secret Sister Missie over at A Flurry of Ponderings titled “Bookies Become Foodies”. As I’ve been trying to track down a book that I connect with that I’d like to feature on that post, I came across Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer. Since I highly enjoyed her most recent release Girl Before a Mirror, I decided to give this one a go. Here are my thoughts:
On The Plus Side:
- Palmer has done an amazing job creating in-depth characters with so much personality that you can definitely connect with. You are going to totally want to hang out with this group after the book is finished!
- I love the setting in a small Texas town (I am definitely drawn to books set in the South….I wonder why that is?). You can definitely imagine the sights and smells as Palmer has you travel through North Star.
- The backdrop of football adds nicely to the overall feeling of the setting and the development of characters.
- I enjoyed the contrast in the journeys that both Queenie and her sister Merry Carole endure to accept their past and be comfortable with their present lives.
- Queenie’s job as chef at the local prison definitely has you reflect on death row inmates and their histories beyond the murder that brought them to death row. You also gain some insight into the lives of the people who work in these situations. It was interesting to really reflect on some of the different aspects of capital punishment and the people who are involved.
- I am a fan of Palmer’s style of writing. I always write down several quotes as I’m reading a book of hers. Here are a couple of my favorites from this book:
“…hatred is not the opposite of love – indifference is.”
” Whatever momentary joy we have can never equal the love that’s felt when you commit yourself to someone and decide to live out your days together. The peace of mind that comes from building a future with someone is not even in the same ballpark as the scraps we’ve been living on.”
“It wasn’t until I grew up a bit that I realized real love is more about the beauty of the everyday.”
- All of the cooking talk definitely makes you crave BBQ food. YUM!
On the Minus Side:
- Although I enjoyed this book, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Girl Before a Mirror. There were parts the started to feel a little repetitive, and the pacing slowed more than I would have liked in certain parts.
What did you think of Nowhere But Home? Have you read anything else by Palmer that you would recommend: