Diane Hammond's beautifully rendered description of life in the fictional small town of Hubbard, Oregon, won her plaudits for "Going to Bend, " her debut novel. In "Homesick Creek," Hammond returns to Hubbard and captivates us once again with a cast of characters so vivid we feel like we've known them all our lives.
Anita and Bunny have been friends since high school, when Anita was a beauty queen runner-up and Bunny a sweet single mother with average looks. They were both taken by surprise when the handsome, charismatic Hack Neary chose Bunny to be his wife. A natural-born salesman, Hack now works his charms at the local car dealership, and he and Bunny enjoy a very comfortable life. But after sixteen years of excusing Hack's white lies, Bunny is more shaken than she'd like to be by his dangerous new flirtation and her rising suspicions that Hack never meant to put down roots in Hubbard.
Anita has also married, but unlike Hack and Bunny, she and her husband are barely scraping by. Bob isn't ambitious enough to properly support his wife and daughter. He is, however, constant in his love: for Anita, still beautiful in his eyes despite the toll of age, work, and poverty; for his daughter and granddaughter, who need more than the couple can provide; and for Warren, his best friend since they were poor and unwanted children in the same trailer park.
Facing a future that seems increasingly difficult, the friends turn to one another and find reserves of love and strength that help heal the wounds they inadvertently inflict on each other. At the deepest point of her grief, Bunny realizes, "If you loved somebody once, no matter how long ago, that had to be worth something.
About the Author
Diane Hammond is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Seeing Stars, Hannah's Dream, Going to Bend, and Homesick Creek. She served as a spokesperson for the Free Willy Keiko Foundation and the Oregon Coast Aquarium and currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and their three Pembroke Welsh corgis.
Praise for Going to Bend
“Funny, heartbreaking, and wise.”
—Fannie Flagg, author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe
“I loved this heartfelt story . . . Diane Hammond is a fabulous storyteller. Her portrait of small-town life is full of humor and detail, and her characters Petie and Rose have a relationship so original and real, you root for them from page 1.”
—Adriana Trigiani, author of the Big Stone Gap trilogy and The Queen of the Big Time
“Hammond doesn’t make splashy drama out of her characters’ dilemmas or solve them by way of a sudden, inspirational uplift. Instead, she opens a window onto the vanishing world of small-town America, and lets the cold sea air blow in.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Hammond shines an unwavering light on a group of people who struggle to make do, yet who live their lives and cope with hardship with grace and dignity. Her clean, sharp prose, idiosyncratic dialogue, and deep insight into relationships embellish this heartfelt debut.”