Finished April 9
Lead Me Home by Amy K. Sorrells
Set in the small town of Sycamore, Indiana, this novel follows two families. James Horton is a local minister, still not recovered from the loss of his wife Molly in a car accident more than a year earlier. Now he is dealing with the death by suicide of one of his parishioners, Frank Whitmore. Faced with a prolonged electricity outage impacting his dairy farm, Frank apparently felt he had no where to turn, and short 30 of his cows before turning the gun on himself.
The remaining cows will be taken in by another small dairy farm, with about 60 cows, nearby run by Laurie Burden, along with her sons Noble and Eustace. Laurie's husband Dale, a long-distance trucker left them a few years back. Eustace is a unique young man, intelligent and sensitive, but non-verbal. He has faced discrimination yet maintains his own priorities despite outside views.
James is also facing the foreclosure of the church itself, a result of dwindling attendance and debt owing on a structural repair a few years earlier. James' 17-year-old daughter Shelby, has been withdrawing from her friends and James since the death of her mother, She has been going out with a local bad boy, worrying those who care about her.
This is a tale of the economic pressures on a small farming community, added to some personal tragedies It is a story of faith, resilience, and community. Even when people feel that their situation affects them alone, because of their ties to the community, others are aware and respond in meaningful ways to make a difference. I like the nuances of the characters. There are no saints her, just real people struggling with their issues, supporting each other as best they can.