Shawn Collins returns home after fighting in Europe during the second World War. He recently lost his wife as a result of a car accident, and he is looking forward to spending time with his father and son, Patrick, for a while, to grieve, and to become reacquainted with his family. But days after his return, he is assigned to a war bond tour, traveling the country with Hollywood stars and raising funds for the war effort. Seeing that he will be gone for three months, Shawn hires Katherine Townsend to be Patrick's nanny. Although he cautions Katherine against becoming too attached to Patrick, Katherine finds that she has quickly fallen in love with the boy. Shawn, torn between loyalty to his deceased wife, and attraction toward the young woman, struggles with his new feelings while trying to deal with his grief.
Although the plot of this book was predictable in many ways, I still enjoyed the story of Shawn, Katherine, and Patrick. There were a few turns in the plot as the author wrote about the war and how the people at home attempted to cope with the changes the conflict brought to their lives. I learned some new things about WWII, like how there were German prisoners in the U.S. during the war and that the Pentagon was built in 1943. And I liked the addition of minor characters who made the story much richer. The romance is also a welcome element.
The gospel has a prominent place in Walsh's book. One character comes to belief in God, and others become closer to their Savior as the story progresses. If you don't like "preaching" in a book, then you probably won't like The Homecoming. But if, like me, you enjoy hearing the old, old story again, especially when it is communicated well, you will want to get this book. I give it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
(The Homecoming is a sequel to The Unfinished Gift. However, you do not have to have read the first one to enjoy this one. I did not read The Unfinished Gift, and I don't think it mattered. However, I want to read it now that I've read this one. I want to know more about this family and their story.)
The Homecoming is available June 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
(I received this book from Revell Books for review purposes. I received no monetary compensation for this review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.)