No sooner is Shawn Collins home from the fighting in Europe than he is called upon to serve his country in another way--as a speaker on the war bond tour. While other men might jump at the chance to travel around the country with attractive Hollywood starlets, Shawn just wants to stay home with his son Patrick and the aging father with whom he has finally reconciled. When Shawn taps Katherine Townsend to be Patrick's nanny while he's on the road, he has no idea that she will be the key to his future happiness and the mending of his heart.
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"The Homecoming" is a Christian historical novel set in 1944 to 1945 and mainly occurred in United States and London, England. This book is a sequel to "The Unfinished Gift." You don't need to read the first novella to understand this book, but I suspect I would have felt more connected to the main characters if I had read "The Unfinished Gift" first.
The vivid historical details were woven into the story without slowing the pacing. We get a tour of events happening at the time, from a bomber getting shot down and its crew escaping occupied territory, to fame for a war hero on a war bond tour, to missiles falling on civilian houses in London.
There was a romance as well, but I felt like time jumped by so quickly that we didn't really get to see the romance grow. We know that they spent time around each other and that they seem well-suited for each other, but the novel's focus was more on the historical events going on than on scenes of them falling in love with each other.
There was a Christian element to the story. Katherine knew so little about church that she thought she had to pay to attend (due to the offering plate), but we're told she learns more about how churches work and what Christ is all about. The hero believed in God before his wife died, but afterward he was mad at God and had to deal with the issue of God being good.
There was no sex or explicit bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting historical novel.
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Review 2 for The Homecoming
Date:May 25, 2012
Shawn feels he has done his share for his country now he wants to spend time with his young son and teach him the finer things of life and to also re-new his feeling for his father who he was estranged for some time but when Patricks new nanny comes on board life becomes a whole new world for all concerned in this book. A wonderful read.
World War II flying ace Shawn Collins returns home on leave to visit his wife's grave and to spend time with his young son, Patrick. But his country isn't ready to let him return to civilian life. Instead, they order him to report for a USO war bond tour up and down America's east coast, accompanied by Hollywood starlets. Shawn sees that his aging father isn't able to cope with Patrick for the duration of this tour, so he hired Patrick's beloved social worker, Katherine Townsend, to be the child's nanny.
When the tour is over, Shawn is sent back to England to train pilots, and because the London bombings are over, he takes Patrick and Katherine with him. But it was only a lull in the storm.
The Homecoming is a nostalgic, gentle love story set during the 1940s. If you enjoy reading about the war and are interested in a male author's version of a romance (think Nicholas Sparks) you may enjoy this novel. I picked it up when it was a Kindle freebie and read it while camping a couple of weeks ago. While definitely not riveting, I did enjoy it.
Finally I am gettting around to say my piece: This book was great to read; satisfied my need to tie up ends of the relationship (from the first book); and most of all the boy and the family... no, not going to give it away. By all means, read this. And if any of you can, please encourage the writer to find another super story line and share it with us!
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Review 6 for The Homecoming
Date:August 17, 2010
Really good book, Could hardly put it down, but I liked the first one best.
The Homecoming is a continuation of the Unfinished Gift. For those who read the first book, you will love seeing the fulfillment of all your hopes and dreams for Patrick and his dad. Kathleen Townsend, Patrick's social worker, is back as well as his Grandpa and Italian neighbor. But where the first book is Patrick's story, this one is his father Sean's. Through the pages, you will experience the war through his eyes. Everything from being shot down over Europe to traveling with USO stars throughout the eastern US and back to England in time for the second blitz. You get to experience the further healing of his relationship with his father, but wonder if you will make good decisions in all areas of his life. I hesitate to tell you more, because this is a book you should read. The characters are rich and three-dimensional. The author's writing will transport you to World War II and its impact on the homefront. And through it all you will close the book with a contented sigh, sorry to leave the characters behind, but richer for your journey with them.
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Review 8 for The Homecoming
Date:June 21, 2010
In his second book, The Homecoming, Dan Walsh continues the story and reunites us with the Collins family. In the book, we learn how two fathers manage life changes, as one father deals with his chaotic career and the other father deals with aging. When Shawn needs to leave and serve his country, he seeks the services of a nanny to watch over his father and his young son. Readers will enjoy the family setting, fellowship with neighbors, local church services and sense of community during a time of war. Many historical facts are woven throughout the story, adding adventure and drama. This particular book incorporates historical fiction, romance, family dynamics and Biblical valuesall packed within three-hundred pages. If you pay attention to the book cover, you have a sense of the time period for the story. The train was the frequent mode of transportation, families were learning to manage food rations and meal tickets, and War Bonds became a necessity. Sometimes we forget the challenges that faced other generations, who fought for our American freedom. Since this novel is written by pastor Dan Walsh, he seems to appear as a character in the story! Its interesting to see ministry from his viewpoint.
The Story: Good, not amazing, but good. The story is a lot like a good romantic made for tv movie that you might watch on the Hallmark Channel. The Writing: The writing is good. This is where this book differs from how a woman would write a romance. There is a gentleness about their relationship and descriptions that help you picture the scenes, but the writing isn't gushy or overly flowery the way many Christian Romance stories written are today.The Romance: If you enjoy reading romance stories, I would definitely recommend this one over others I've read this year. It doesn't exaggerate how men and women look at each other and it doesn't go near the fine line between romance and lust.Strengths: It is an easy book to read. The story and characters are engaging. I read this book in 2 days. Other thoughts: The one facet of this story is how quickly the relationship between the Captain and Katherine progressed--all things considered. (sort of a spoiler!) I don't know if people got married that quickly back then. I do remember that my great grandmother had 3 husbands (2 of them were brothers) in a matter of a few years. So, maybe the mourning period when a spouse died back then was shorter then. In Conclusion: Though parts of the plot weren't always believable to me, I enjoyed the book and thought it was a good book for one of those nights when you want to curl up and forget about life and read.Please note that I was given a complimentary copy of this book for review.
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Review 10 for The Homecoming
Date:June 17, 2010
I first saw The Homecoming on the publisher's website and thought it sounded like a great book . And from what I had heard, It was full of details of WWII and a sweet romance story. But, I thought, wait! A man writing romance?This I had to read. So when Revell was offering this up for review, I had to sign up.The Homecoming is the sequel to The Unfinished Gift, and centers around the return of the, now widowed, Patrick Collins. I love WWII novels and I liked the insight I got when I read The Homecoming but, I think I would have enjoyed the book so much more, if I had read the first book, The Unfinished Gift. I felt detached from the characters and I didn't fully understand their background with each other. I also felt like their was un-important dialogue between the characters and that we never really get "inside" the main character's head and understand things from that character's POV. Although I would have liked the romantic relationship between Shawn and Kathrine to be stronger, again I have the feeling that had I read the first book, I could have understood it all better. But, besides all that, I loved the mini history lesson I got, plus the exciting WWII action and that little dash romance added in. Overall, if you love WWII, I think The Homecoming would be the perfect read, I just highly recommend you read the first book in the series, The Unfinished Gift, first:)*Many thanks to Donna Hausler @ Revell Books for sending me a review copy of The Homecoming. The review is my honest opinion on this book and is no way influenced by the publisher and/or the author.*
This sequel to The Unfinished Gift was heartwarming and sweet. I am a real WWII fiction buff so the scenes that involved war I found particularly interesting, like the bombs being dropped on England toward the end. I found a lot of the material to be interesting and perfectly suited to the era. The author had obviously done his research and had me solidly grounded in the 1940s while I read this novel, especially when it came to lingo, popular music, and the current "stars" of the day. This story kind of reminded me of "It's a Wonderful Life" in tone, but minus the Christmas setting.The spiritual thread in this novel was solid, though subtle. I found it well-balanced and inspirational. It didn't feel like a sermon to me, but like part of the story, as it should. I enjoyed watching the characters develop affection for each other and observing the continued healing of the broken bonds between father and adult son from the first book. The pacing was well done and the healing process realistically portrayed. I also felt like I'd really bonded with Katherine and her heart for wanting the family she never had. That was so touching and sweet how the author developed that aspect of her character.The hero was amazing, too, and very humble, which made him extremely likable. His relationship with his son was tender and I grieved for him when they were separated. I loved how he got some solid advice from his dad about what to do with Katherine toward the end of the story. When the hero finally had his "oh no, I'm gonna lose her" moment, I was like "YES!" and cheered him on in his pursuit of true love. This was a great story with a lot of good heart-felt emotion. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first book, but I did find it ultimately satisfying.
The Homecoming by Dan Walsh is the sequel to his novella, The Unfinished Gift. Shawn Collins has returned from World War II, a decorated pilot with a compelling story of escaping Nazi hands after his plane was shot down over the Channel and saving most of his crew. But his wife, Elizabeth, isn't waiting for him when he gets home. She was killed in a car accident shortly before Christmas, leaving their son Patrick with Shawn's father Ian. Ian and Shawn have had a rocky relationship over the years, but Patrick has brought them back together. When the army decides to send Shawn on a War Bond tour, he has to leave Patrick again, so he asks former social worker, Katherine Townsend, to work as a nanny. Katherine and Patrick had bonded after the death of Elizabeth. Katherine has fallen head over heels with Patrick, and she soon finds herself doing the same for his brave and handsome father, but Shawn is struggling with guilt over Elizabeth's death. Walsh does a wonderful job of recreating wartime America with its passion for stars and heroes, and the deep sacrifices everyone was willing to make for the soldiers. His description of the dogfight is harrowing and incredibly real; I could see the action happening as the planes dodged and shot each other. That scene alone makes the book fascinating, but the sweet romance between Katherine and Shawn and their shared faith make the book a must read.
I think Dan Walsh must own stock in the company that makes Kleenex because he sure can write a tear-jerker! I read The Unfinished Gift last year and fell in love with Dans storytelling and the family he created. I could not wait to read the sequel, The Homecoming. This book was written in the same tender and heart-warming way, but it also had a much more romantic feel to and the historical details made for an all-around delightful book. Patrick was his usual adorable self and I enjoyed spending more time with this wonderful cast of characters.I think I said this about The Unfinished Gift, but it also applies to The Homecoming. This is a book to be savored and enjoyed. The story moves very quickly, so it is easy to read it fast, but it really is so much better to take your time, relax and enjoy. I dont know if the author has any plans for continuing this story, but I would love to read more about Patrick as he grows up. I love the concept of mixing history in with the story and I would be very interested in reading more stories like that by Dan Walsh, he does it so well.Overall, The Homecoming is another outstanding story by a very talented author. I am now a fan of Dan Walsh and will anxiously look for more of his books in the future. I highly recommend this book, but it is much more enjoyable if you read The Unfinished Gift first.
What a great read! I'd like to see a movie created from this novel. The parts involving Mama's Kitchen would make for good action; other parts would please the chick-film-loving-crowd.This talented author did extensive research to bring WWII history alive; the train station send-off actually brought tears to my eyes! In addition, there were a few other areas that required a tissue.When I turned the final page, I sighed in contentment; this is my kind of book! The characters make easy connections, the plot engages from the beginning and continues to the satisfying ending, and history is taught in a palatable manner.Although this novel picks up where The Unfinished Gift ends, it is a stand-alone book; it can be easily followed without having read the first. A big thank you to Donna Hausler of Baker Publishing Group for my review copy of this historical Christian fiction.
THE HOMECOMING by Dan Walsh is a Inspirational Historical Fiction set in 1944-1945 in England and USA. It the sequel to The Unfinished Gift but can be read as a stand along. It is well written with detail and depth. It has drama, romance, family, war, foregiveness, faith, moving forward with you life after tragic events, and broken hearts. The characters are easy to relate to and will capture your heart. They will stay with you long after the story ends. They are strong, determined and hopeful for a wonderful bright future. I would highly recommend this story. This is such a sweet love story.This is a keeper and a must read. This author is one to watch for in the future. This book was received for review and details can be found at My Book Addiction and More and at Revell.
The Homecoming is a compelling story of love, heartbreak, and healing. Dan Walsh doesn't disappoint us after his successful debut book, The Unfinished Gift. I was anxious to jump back into the lives of Patrick, his daddy, Shawn, and his grandfather Ian. As Shawn relates to his family the nail-biting story of the WWII events in Europe that turned him into a national hero, his life is catapulted away from home and his little boy. A national hero, he just wants to come home. Heart-rending, The Homecoming gets a high recommendation from Novel Journey Reviews and me.
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Review 17 for The Homecoming
Date:June 7, 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Homecoming by Dan Walsh. This beautiful story was very emotional moving, and I felt I was truly immersed in the lives of the characters of the book as I experienced the depth of Shawn Collins sorrow and then watched him come to terms with his wifes death while trying to care for his son and father at the same time. I was also very caught up in the changes taking place in Katherine Townsends heart and life and could hardly wait as the story unfolded to see how the lives of these two people would be worked out. Additionally, some of my favorite parts were the encouraging words spoken to both Shawn and Katherine throughout the pages of this book much of which spoke directly to my heart as well! I loved the beginning, the middle and especially the end. I think this is definitely one of those books that I will be reading over and over again!