Home Place


Newly retired Air Force Colonel Margaret Wainwright is settling into the home she inherits from her Aunt Millie in Alabama. On her first day, she meets her neighbor, Jim, who seems vaguely familiar. Soon she realizes “Jim” is Jim McQuaid, one of her favorite childhood friends. Jim seems to appear every time she needs help fixing something around her circa 1932 Craftsman house. Margaret begins to succumb to his flirtatious attention until she discovers a young Jennifer McQuaid and her little daughter, Josie, living with Jim. Margaret is furious that Jim is flirting with her, trifling with her heart while he has a family to care for. Heartbroken, she tries to forget Jim, but finds she cannot.

“Home Place” is a short, light tale that can be read in a weekend. Author Bonnie Gardner captures the essence of a small town and gives us all it entails, including a varied collection of characters of all ages, including the town eccentric. She references Margaret’s military experiences excessively – the story is about Margaret adjusting to civilian life, not her time in Afghanistan. The tale tends to drag and gets bogged down with details and narration. The characters, although interesting, have little depth. The story begins in the perfect spot – with a move - which is so familiar to anyone affiliated with the military. “Home Place” is a sweet story of a childhood affection blooming into full-fledged love.

Belinda Wilson