The Thing About Home
by Rhonda McKnight
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Pub Date 09 May 2023 | Archive Date 09 Jun 2023
Thomas Nelson--FICTION, Thomas Nelson
Home is not a place—it’s a feeling.
Casey Black needs an escape. When her picture-perfect vow renewal ceremony ends in her being left at the altar, the former model turned social media influencer has new fame—the kind she never wanted. An embarrassing viral video has cost her millions of followers, and her seven-year marriage is over. With her personal and business lives in shambles, Casey runs from New York City to South Carolina’s Lowcountry hoping to find long-lost family. Family who can give her more answers about her past than her controlling mom-slash-manager has ever been willing to share.
What Casey doesn’t expect is a postcard-worthy property on a three-hundred-acre farm, history, culture, and a love of sweet tea. She spends her days caring for the land and her nights cooking much needed Southern comfort foods. She also meets Nigel, the handsome farm manager whose friendship has become everything she’s never had. And then there are the secrets her mother can no longer hide.
Through the pages of her great-grandmother’s journals, Casey discovers her roots run deeper than the Lowcountry soil. She learns that she has people. A home. A legacy to uphold. And a great new love story—if only she is brave enough to leave her old life behind.
“. . . a beautifully written story about family, self-discovery, secrets, and forgiveness.” —Kimberla Lawson Roby, New York Times bestselling author
- Inspiring contemporary fiction
- Stand-alone novel
- Book length: approximately 100,000 words
- Includes discussion questions for book clubs
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 131 members
Home is truly where the heart is.
I enjoyed this book so much. The author literally pulled me into the story from the beginning and didn’t let go. I found myself so engaged with the characters that I felt like part of the family.
When Granna comforted Casey by telling her “ Sometimes when a woman ends a marriage, she don’t have no grief left because she grieved the end of that marriage while she was still in it, moving day-to-day, waiting for the change to come that would separate her from her husband. By the time she is legally free, the emotional healing was already done.” I wanted to jump up and shout! No truer words have been spoken.
There were so many beautiful nuggets in this book that brought love, laughter, and hope. I love a story that not only entertains me but gives me something I can take with me. The author did that for me with the statement “This is where I tell you to do something you want to do. Build something you want to keep forever.”
I highly recommend this book.
This book was so beautifully written and I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed every second of it and was truly sad when it was over.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Casey Black is known worldwide as @YourGirlCaseyB, a famous influencer. However, when her life falls apart in front of millions of followers, she is humiliated and doesn't know where to turn. Her overbearing mother/ manager is too much to handle. Her husband wants a divorce.
Casey leaves New York City for the Lowcountry of South Carolina searching for her father's family. Her mother has never allowed her to meet them or even know about them.
Arriving in South Carolina, she finds the family she never knew. Through her Great-grandmother's journals, she learns the history of her family and their 300-acre farm in Georgetown. The slow-paced lifestyle, delicious food, and love of a family bring healing to her heart and soul.
As old family secrets come out and she learns the truth about her life, Casey has to make some choices. This is her story.
I truly enjoyed reading this book! I love the South Carolina Lowcountry. The Gullah-Geechee culture is fascinating and beautiful The food is amazing. McKnight truly captures the beauty of the region and the people who call it home. The characters are well-rounded. I could see the people, the land, and the food.
I don't read many books with romance as a key player. However, this one was a joy to read. I look forward to reading more books by Rhonda Mcknight. She brings the beauty of the region and its people to all of us through her words.
Read this book if...
...you love southern fiction
...you love stories about the South Carolina Lowcountry
...you love feel-good stories
...you are interested in the Gulla-Geechee culture
...you love romance
...you love starting-over stories
Rhonda McKnight has written a wonderful book about family, love, obsession, commitment and grace. Her story is richly developed with characters bound together from several generations and placed in the lush southern farm town setting.
Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson - Fiction for the opportunity to read this beautiful ARC.
when Casey is left at the alter in a renewal ceremony, she leaves for South Carolina, to look for her father's family, who her mother never allowed her to know. very good read.
Wow! This is a fantastic book! Spanning two time periods it tells the story of two courageous and strong women. Odessa, a woman who put her dreams on hold but loved her family fiercely. She had advice that passed down to her great granddaughter- "The women before you could only dream. But I know they hoped for a better day for their daughters and all the women down their family line. Do me and them the honor of living your dreams so that our sacrifices will be seed that has fallen on good ground." 150 years later, Casey faces a horrible situation that changes her life. She ends up searching for herself and finds home. She realizes that her dreams have changed and she embraces the change. Along the way she finds family and love that change her life.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This book is fantastic. I wasn’t sure how I felt with the first few scenes of the book but it got so much better. I don’t want to give any spoilers but I’m glad that with time and open-mindedness Casey found out where she needed to be.
Unput-downable! This book is well written, engaging, relatable and thoroughly enjoyable. I highly recommend this book for anyone struggling with whether they are living their life purpose, or anyone who just needs a good book to read!
On the very day of the ceremony, while the people are waiting in the church, he changes his mind. Her mother knows something is wrong. Drew has decided he is not going going through with this media event. He is going to split. He is not going to renew his vows, and he is going to divorce this woman.
It is hard understanding how Casey must feel about this new trial in her life. As a matter of fact, no one knows what to do about the situation.What Victoria chooses to do is a Godsend. The solution to the problem is a love gift. It will change her life forever. "The Thing About Home" by Rhonda Mcknight is wondrous. This is a complimentary gift from Thomas Nelson.
The Thing About Home by Rhonda McKnight is a delicious meal of a novel (and yes, there is a lot of food in this book so you might have to put it down every once in a while because of vicarious hunger pangs). Casey Black is a model/influencer whose meticulously planned vow-renewal ceremony goes horribly wrong. She runs from NYC to South Carolina, where she finds comfort with the family she's never had a chance to know. Her great grandmother's journals lead her on a journey to discover a new life and a new love. Highly recommend.
I received a complimentary electronic ARC of this excellent novel from Netgalley, author Rhonda McKnight, and Thomas Nelson Publisher. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read The Thing About Home of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I have happily added Rhonda McKnight to my favorite authors, and recommend her works to friends and family. She writes a Southern tale with heart and soul. Thank you, Netgalley, for introducing me to this fine author.
New York City resident Casey Black is pushing 30-something and an internet Beauty Influencer with hundreds of thousands - maybe millions - of viewers on social media. Most folks over thirty-something don't even know what that means and find it hard to appreciate the time and effort she expends to keep her reputation sharp and maintain the income this enterprise supports. Casey's mother, who has been her manager since Casey completed her first commercial for Pamper's diapers at two years old and her years of modeling understands all, but has little sympathy for the personal sacrifices involved. Casey's husband of 7 years, Drew, certainly enjoys the perks of her efforts but resents the time and lack of privacy her career requires to keep her viewers happy. And so he doesn't show up for the highly advertised vow renewal ceremony shared by every internet follower Casey has ever had. He in fact uses that platform to inform Casey that he is seeking a divorce because he hates their life. And her reaction, or rather over-reaction, will lose her many many of those fans.
Casey passes off the 'second honeymoon in Hawaii tickets' to Leslie and Swella, the staff who help her support her online business. And in an effort to distract herself, stay out of the public eye, and avoid the wrath of her career manager mother, Casey takes a road trip to visit the hometown of her father, Georgetown, South Carolina. Her Father died in a car wreck before she was born. She knows very little about her mother's family, and absolutely nothing about her father's people. And right now, she needs family very badly.
Georgetown is small, quaint, and insular. It is a lifestyle that Casey can appreciate in her current circumstances. Nobody knows her or expects anything of her, and the place is teeming with her Black family. She is drawn into tracing the ancestry of that family after meeting her paternal grandmother, 99-year-old Odessa Black. Odessa has pictures, stories, and data of the family and their farm ranging from their years as slaves to the growth of the family and the town over the last 150 years. And Casey has found a new path to her future. She couldn't ask for more than that. Because the thing about home - it's not a place.
pub date May 9, 2023
Reviewed on January 22, 2023, at Goodreads and Netgalley.
Casey is an influencer who, when left at the altar just a few minutes before their recommitment ceremony, compounds the horror by going nuts on social media. Fleeing to the South Carolina countryside, she finds her late father's family. The only one left in her direct line is her 99 year old grandmother, an affluent landowner with a prosperous farm. Grandmother Ida welcomes her with open arms, and soon Casey is enveloped by the love of aunts, uncles, cousins...and a very handsome farm manager by the name of Nigel.
Now in her early 30's, Casey must decide how to live the rest of her life. Will she return to her New York City lifestyle, back to the business managed by her fiercely loving but way-overbearing mother (who kept her from knowing Ida and the family all those years)? Or will she accept Nigel's love and make a place for herself on the farm? While this story unfolds, we're treated to a parallel story, told in flashback, of the great-great-grandparents who fought their way to self-sufficiency in the post-slaveholding South. This was a really interesting story, a fine romance, with lots of great description, humor, and kindness. Very much recommended. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
In Rhonda McKnight's novel, The Thing about Home, Casey Black needs an escape from her failed marriage due to the excessive use of social media, and a road trip to meet her family whom she has never met brings her to South Carolina. Casey is quickly accepted into her family, but her future depends on what she learns on the farm. This ideal story includes a 300-acre farm, sweet tea, and a farm manager who is as sweet and gentlemanly as can be. Although tough decisions are made and tough secrets revealed, Casey finds just what she needs: Home.
Many lessons are displayed throughout the novel including the effects of social media on relationships, the value of family, and the importance of understanding your roots. McKnight layers the fictional novel in such a way that she tells Casey's story, culture, her family's history, and delves into historical facts while still keeping the reader's interest. Although I wish she had given more of Casey's feelings and thoughts as she was building up to the climax of the story after an important event at the end, the story is well developed. She uses very effective diction such as "Time don't always belong to you" (196). When she wrote "everything I needed, I already had inside of me," the reader can connect to the text in such a way that the reader can feel empowered (312).
Who or where is home? That is for you to decide. I highly recommend this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Casey Black has her social media empire implode when her husband leaves her just before their vow renewal ceremony in front of a crowded church and her followers online. Everyone is badgering her to find a way to fix the mess. Instead, she leaves New York to find her lost family in South Carolina.
Her journey is one of discovering not only family but herself and love. In doing so, she begins to reinvent herself and uncover things that she either never realized or had forgotten about in herself.
A rich story, filled with the history of Casey’s family in the South as free slaves and as brave men and women in trying times.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This novel explores how when everything falls apart, life may perhaps just be beginning. It’s a cozy, easy read that packs a wallop of a lesson. How do we come to terms with our life choices, who is to blame when things spiral out of control and how do we open our hearts up to an unexpected life that just might bring us joy? Pick up this book, if you’re in the mood for a lite read that carries weight.
I enjoyed this book. The author did a great job of connecting you with the characters. The main character is left at the altar and is trying to piece her life together. This takes her on a journey to South Carolina. She meets her father’s family, and she learns a family secret. This story shares family drama, forgiveness, family history, and lots of love. I loved the history shared about South Carolina and its surrounding areas. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
This was unputdownable. It was such a good read. I can't wait for more from this author.Home is not a place—it’s a feeling.
Casey Black is a social media influencer whose husband of seven years left her at the altar. She flees NYC and goes to the Lowcountry to find her family. She also finds her great-grandmother's journals and learns a lot about her past.
I really enjoyed it,
Highly recommended for fans of inspirational novels.
Casey Black is an intriguing protagonist with a successful past based on her appearance. It was super fascinating to see her make the journey (literal and figurative) to her father's hometown in SC and get to know the family she had missed out on. Since she grew up with her mother, she is only now getting to know her father's side of the family. Her 99-yr-old grandmother is a wonderful character, and Casey also meets other fascinating people.
We also have an 1800s storyline involving Casey's ancestors Elijah and Odessa. In this way, the family farm also becomes like a character in its own right. The author does a great job handling the dual timelines and they both fit the narrative.
As past secrets come to light, Casey learns a lot about herself and develops a heartwarming maturity.
What a lovely story from a new-to-me author! I go back and forth on Southern stories—sometimes I love 'em, sometimes they don't quite connect with me. But this one seeped right into my soul as I read. I'm not a huge fan of influencer/social media culture, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the heroine at first—but instead of feeling a disconnect, I related to her in so many ways. I loved journeying alongside her as she connected with her family and her roots. I wasn't quite as into the hero in this book as I am in some (which I think has everything to do with personal preference when it comes to my type haha!), but I don't think the romance was the true focal point of the story anyway. It's very much a story of a woman looking deep inside herself—and into the roots she's never had a chance to discover before—and finding new belonging, new purpose . . . and yes, some new romance on the side, too. :) With a cast full of fun and intriguing side characters, this story kept me hooked all the way through. And I'm eager to read more by Rhonda McKnight.
THE THING ABOUT HOME by RHONDA McNIGHT is a well written and inspirational split time romance novel in which we follow,the heroine, Casey Carter (nee Black) from New York to South Carolina, to search for her father’s relatives. It is here that she finds reality and unconditional love from her ninety-nine year old grandmother and countless other Black family members, whom her mother has never mentioned to her. It is here that she learns her mother’s secrets and also, as she reads Odessa Black’s journals, family history that goes back to the late 1800’s, with stories of slavery. In spite of the recent emancipation, racism and attacks on blacks were rife in the South at that time. In fact, even in the modern world of super models, racism was also rife.
I like to see how Odessa and others worked hard to establish themselves as successful women of colour, and we see how sucessful Casey B has become as an influencer with a large folowing, after starting out as a model.
After being rejected publicly by Drew Carer, her husband of seven years, and showing her grief and vulnerability on video, she starts on her journey of self exploration. Will she find what she is looking for in the South Carolina Lowlands? Will she ever allow herself to fall in love again?…..
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Thomas Nelson. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
Casey Black is an Instagram Influencer with millions of followers. She's about to have a seven-year vow renewal when her husband walks out minutes before the ceremony is about to start. She goes home, goes live on Instagram and in one ten minute segment virtually destroys her career. Needing a break from her life, she goes to South Carolina to find out about the people she came from. There she meets the grandmother she never knew and finds more than just herself, she finds her true purpose and it's not with Instagram.
Granna, as she calls her grandmother, teaches her how to cook, how to grow plants, and more about who she really is. With the help of Nigel Evanston, she learns farming, and that not all of life needs to be lived online. There are experiences to be had simply by living them.
Granna gives Casey some journals and diaries of her grandmother, Odessa, and her grandfather, Elijah, that describe the incarnation of the Black family. The hardships, the victories, and the daily-ness of life post-war in the 1860s and beyond.
Throughout the book, Casey has had to make some hard decisions, but coming into her own and standing on her own two feet makes her who she is by the end of the book. Besides Casey, Nigel, and Granna, there are some characters who become family members to the reader, especially Aunt Thea who knows someone connected to the family to do anything that needs to be done. She is a great resource for workmen, mechanics, cooks, whatever you need, Aunt Thea knows who does it, and it's always a family member. That kind of resource is invaluable.
Rhonda McKnight has written a stellar book that at times frustrates, always engages, and inevitably compels the reader to continue. It's hard to put down, hard to let go, and destined to become a favorite book by Rhonda's readers. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a glass of sweet tea without too much ice.
The Thing About Home is a heart warming story that begins with in NYC with Casey Black, a model/social media personality, as she undergoes a very public breakup with her husband. Knowing she needs an escape from her current situation, she decides to set out to learn more about her late father's family in South Carolina that she has never met. This is the first book I've ever read by author Rhonda McKnight, and I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Ms. McKnight is a gifted storyteller, and her ability to set the scene during each chapter left me not wanting to put this book down! This book focuses on love, family, resilience and has beautifully written chapters from Casey's and her ancestors points of view, and yet still feels very current. If you are looking for a heart warming escape, that leaves you highlighting more than one beautifully written phrase, this is it. I also loved the way this book touches upon grief, as it is shown in many forms and not always as you would expect. I'd highly recommend this book, and I look forward to reading more from this talented author.
This was absolutely beautiful! The plot was well-paced and captivating from start to finish. The characters were well-developed; complex, and intriguing. I highly recommend this beautiful telling of the power of home, friendship and love. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.
I loved loved this new to me author! Just wow!
From the beginning I was absorbed in Casey B's journey. It was awesome!
I have a good feeling that readers will fall in love with this delightful character and eventually adopt her into their lives. I definitely did!
My favorite thing about this book was that it was told in Casey's point of view and in my opinion it made it that much more dynamic and powerful.
Family is everything and there's definitely no place like home. Home is where the heart is. Or that's what I was told. In my opinion it's actually true.
I didn't want to put this book down. Yes, I know I say this about every book I read but you know what? It's true. This year has been awesome for good books and I'm adding this one to my list!
I'm buying it for my keeper shelf.
5 stars for a job well done! I highly recommend!
My thanks for a copy of this book I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
The Thing About Home by Rhonda McKnight is superb novel.
I was fully immersed in the life of Casey, wanting to uncover her past and her secrets, turning pages to stay up with her present, and hoping that she will find peace and healing in her future.
Casey is a strong, independent woman who I admired on so many levels.
As a reader, you will root for the characters, you will smile, and you will cry.
I thought the writing was amazing. McKnight kept me engaged and honestly had me wanting to stay up late to see how this story played out!
This is one you wont want to miss.
My first time reading anything by this author and I'm very impressed. Can't wait to read more!
"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
This is a beautifully written, inspirational, heartwarming story. Casey Black began modeling at age 2 and continued until she was 27. Upon giving up modeling, she became a well-known social-media influencer with millions of followers as well as many sponsors. Her mother was her agent and handled all her business dealings.
When a huge online planned event didn’t come together as expected, Casey completely falls apart, while online live to the horror of her mother and resulting in the loss of many followers as well as sponsors.
Through her devastation and total shock of the unexpected outcome of the carefully planned and promoted event, Casey knew she needed to step back and take a break from social media, so she gets out of New York City, where she lives and drives to the hometown of her late father, Georgetown, South Carolina. Her Dad died before she was born, and she knows very little about him or his family.
Having grown up with only her mother, Casey learns what a large, loving, supportive family is. She meets many relatives she didn’t know she had, including her sweet 99 year of Grandmother. As she hears about the lives of the many who came before her, the timeline of this fascinating story reverts to the 1800s when great-grandparents, Elijah Black and his wife Odessa lived and raised their large family on the very farm her grandmother lives on now.
There are so many moving parts to this captivating, heartfelt story. Some very unexpected twists and turns, old secrets are revealed, tough decisions are made and along the way, Casey makes important discoveries about herself. I could hardly put this book down until the very last page was turned. I absolutely loved this book and will be thinking of Casey and others for a while.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Lovely story. Beautifully written. Great characters. And I love the journals, the South Carolina setting, and Southern Fiction in general. There's everything to love about this story--including the title and the cover art.
I quickly got caught up in the wedding craziness and felt the thrill of the day from the time I met the bride-to-be, who was ready to reaffirm her vows with husband Drew.
This wasn't just any wedding; it was the wedding of online personality Casey B. This event would be captured on camera and live broadcast, which thrilled her sponsors. All was set and going according to plan until Drew wished to speak with Casey. A conversation now? Why not on their honeymoon in Hawaii? Okay, she goes to him. She didn't like the look on his face. It wasn't the voice of a man in love, ecstatic about the day ahead.
He tells her, “I can’t go through with the ceremony.”… “It was happening in five minutes. Couldn’t he have told her this yesterday?”
They had eloped and had never had a wedding/honeymoon, so this was their big day. “I want a divorce,” he blurted next. She couldn’t believe it." This could not be happening in front of friends, family, and the entire internet community.
This drives Casey to trace her ancestors. Drew had pushed her to do so when they were married, but she had never been interested until now. Unexpected twists and turns occur, old secrets are revealed, difficult decisions must be made, and Casey learns a lot about herself along the way.
I enjoyed the author’s exploration of new beginnings, what love is, and how to find a place to thrive. Throughout the novel, there are beautiful moments of genuine love, respect, joy, and healing. This journey was an emotional roller coaster that made me tear up, laugh, and think. I couldn’t put this book down until it ended. This book was outstanding. I’ve added her to my list of authors to keep an eye on, and your next book club selection would be an excellent option.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I requested and received a copy of this book by the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog https://psalm516.blogspot.com/
I loved the Black family so much especially Ida. I have a 95 year old grandma named Ida and they both are so similar. The dual timeline helps so much to give more depth to the history of the family. Nigel is such a great character as well!
Thanks so much to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own.
This book was beautifully written. There were so many little nuggets of thoughts. Casey Black started modeling at age two and stopped at age twenty-seven. In her mid thirties, she is an influencer for beauty products on Instagram. When a failed renewal of her vows goes public, Casey decides to step away from the limelight and head to South Carolina, where her father's family lives, family that she has never met. Casey really connects with her father's mother and lovingly calls her Granna.I loved the connection that Casey had with her Granna. There are also journal entries shared from Casey's great-grandmother. Odessa who writes about how scary it was to live in the South as a black woman. I connected with the characters in this book and loved how Casey decided it was past time to stand up to her mother, who had continued to control her as an adult. What a great book.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was a beautiful book. I really enjoyed it.
The Thing About Home
By Rhonda McKnight
Pub date: May 9: 2023
Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Heart warming story that tells of the very public breakup . Casey needs a break and decides to set out to learn more about her late fathers family.
This is the first McKnight book I have read.
I recommend it!
I received this book as an ARC and this is my review. I loved this book! The characters were vivid and flawed. The story is fascinating and goes back and forth from current times to Reconstruction after the Civil War. It also moves back and forth from NY City to Georgetown, S. Carolina. I totally recommend this book to readers who enjoy a rom-com spiced with history and great food!
I enjoyed this book. A young Black influencer has come to a turning point in her life. Casey's husband humiliates her when he waits until he was supposed to show up at the alter to renew the vows from their wedding to tell her he wanted a divorce. Casey's mother has always closely directed Casey's life, but Casey the only thing Casey knew about her father was a name. Her social media account is exploding over the failed wedding ceremony and Casey's response to it, so she decides to take a break and find her father. In the process she finds a new family she had never met and makes some serious decisions about what she really wants in life. While she is doing that we who are reading get to learn something about Black history in the south. Second chances also include a little romance. I received an arc from NetGalley and am under no pressure for a positive review.
The Thing About Home
Pub Date: May 9, 2023 🗓️
The Thing About Home was an absolutely beautiful story about self-discovery, family, and forgiveness. From the first page, I was hooked and felt like the writing style was just flawless!
Casey Black is a social media influencer who gets stood up by her husband during her vowel renewal, which was set to be live-streamed on social media. Following the devastation, Casey takes to social media, while not in the best state of mind, to talk about what happens. After, she finds herself with lost followers and no sense of direction about what’s next. On a whim, she decides to find out more about her father, who passed away before she was born. To do so, she must travel to South Carolina and enter a world unlike what she’s used to in NYC.
Through listening to others tell her stories about her family, journals from her great grandmother, and some self discovery, Casey finds her own people.
I absolutely adored Nigel and his relationship with Casey and loved watching their friendship unfold throughout the book. Perhaps my favorite part was watching Casey and her Granna make up for lost time.
I cannot recommend this book enough! It is just absolutely beautiful and it had me in tears as I followed Casey’s journey and self-discovery. Please add this one to your TBR and read it ASAP!
“Sometimes we have to grieve the dead thing in the quiet of the night. When we lie on our beds, we can shed our tears, because life doesn’t allow us to stop moving.”
“The thing about home is, it’s not a place. It’s a feeling.”
Thank you to Rhonda McKnight, Thomas Nelson, and NetGalley for providing me with a gifted copy of The Thing About Home.
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**Posted on Amazon on May 9, 2023
**-will post on designated date
For this engrossing story, we travel from the Big Apple to South Carolina’s Low country, Georgetown, South Carolina. Casey Black aka Casey B, is on the run from a super humiliating cancellation of renewal vows with her soon to be divorced husband, Drew. It’s super humiliating because Casey is a very popular beauty and fashion influencer who has/had over a million followers. Every step of her forth-coming renewal vows was posted, snapped and followed until that moment when the vow ceremony was cancelled. It’s a very poignant scene. That, and a “come-to-Jesus” moment, leads Casey to find out about her father’s side of the family that she had no connection with other than her last name. It has always been Casey and her mother, who had no desire to ever acquaint Casey with either side of her family. Well, that changes when Casey goes on a personal mission, and takes the initiative to find out for herself.
The Black family dynamic from the Post-Civil War era to the present day is one of the most arresting features of this story. Likewise, when Casey finally grasps her place and future in the family, marks a pivotal moment in the story. Casey is constantly encouraged by her best friend, Leslie, and her love interest, Nigel, the manager of Black Farms. As Casey meets members of the Black family during her extended stay, she is convinced that she is part of the legacy, and being with her Low Country family is home.
This story is brilliant! I highly recommend it for your reading pleasure. It is rich in history and family love. The Epilogue is everything! Make sure you add this book to your library and marked as read. It’s too good to linger on the TBR pile. You can thank me later.
This is a novel I read as an ARC from Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest opinion. Rhonda creates a beautiful novel in which the main character is left at the alter, and then goes to South Carolina where she meets some of her fathers family and learns a family secret. This novel encompasses heartbreak, forgiveness, family history, finding one’s self, and South Carolina beautifully.
My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest while reading. I enjoyed this book immensely. It captured my heart and won my affection.
A beautiful story with rich family history, forgiveness and hope.
The characters had me from the first line. They told the story of the book effortlessly. They were relatable and really touching. The plot was heart warming and inspiring. Did I add thought provoking?
It answered one of life’s probing question: “what really matters?’
I did not want the book to end. I enjoyed every bit of it. I loved that the conflict started at the beginning of the book. It actually gave me something to look up to.
Highly, highly recommended.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and this is my honest opinion.
The Thing About Home, by Rhonda McKnight is stand alone Christian contemporary fiction story that is so good and filled with so much to think about. Casey is a major, well known beauty influencer who never had a real wedding. When she plans a very public vow renewal, her husband decides to leave her. With needing to flee the social media and having nowhere to go, she drives to South Carolina to try to find her father’s family, which she know nothing about.
This is such a great story to read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It is such a realistic feeling story. It is so easy to feel for Casey as she has been in the public and under her mother’s management since she was very young. I rejoiced with her as she found her family and learned more about them. I just loved her grandmother and how welcoming she was. It was fun to see the change that came over Casey as she spent time with her father’s family. I just loved this story!
I voluntarily received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley, this is my honest review.
Hands down one of the best books I ever read. As a mood reader, the fact that this author was able to seamlessly cross genres throughout the story was perfect. There were elements of a romance as we watched Casey and Nigel’s friendship. The historical fiction fan in me loved the dual timelines and the exploration into post slavery South Carolina. Casey’s journey of finding herself gave the story a coming of age feel while diving into the generational history of the family felt literary. It was done so well that you won’t notice it. But if you are a fan of any of the aforementioned genres, that is what you are most likely to see reading this story. I couldn’t put it down and didn’t want it to end. I want to know so much more about this family and have my fingers crossed that we get more.
Oh, how I was not ready for this book to be over! I absolutely loved the Black family and the characters in this book! Really feel like there needs to be even more follow up and may be a second book written just to continue the story on! Casey B is a social media influencer who was left at the altar for her vow renewal, and basically feels like her career is over, she’s never really had much to do with her family and goes on a self exploration journey to discover more about her family and their roots. She finds deep connections, faith, history, some romance and much more. So beautifully written, you will love the characters in the entire story!
Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson fiction for my electronic advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
I loved The Thing About Home so much! It's the first Rhonda McKnight book I've read, but it won't be the last. The description of the book drew me in. How many of us are on social media? How many of us follow influencers on Instagram or TikTok? I'm guessing that the answer to both of those questions is lots!! So, a book about a social media influencer having a LIVE meltdown after her what was supposed to be a LIVE vow renewal...I'm there for it! Though for real, I have seriously cut back on my social media use since it can be so toxic. It just leaves me in a bad mood most of the time. When I do get on Instagram, I TRY to make myself use the search function and just look at Christ-centered accounts or photos of Great Britain and Ireland (I'm a little obsessed!). But, it is really hard to not get sucked in and scroll, scroll, scroll! Now imagine scrolling, getting a little message at the top of your screen saying your favorite influencer @CaseyB (Casey Black) is streaming live. You've been watching all day, waiting for her vow renewal, wondering what's happening. Then finally, she's streaming. And she has a total meltdown. You know you're there for it!
As it turns out, that meltdown leads her to the most wonderful discovery. She heads to Georgetown, SC in search of her father’s family. Family her mom never talked about nor took her to see. Unbelievably, she finds her grandmother right off the bat. And her life is forever changed. The bond she forms with her grandmother reminds me of how I was with my grandma. She was one of my best friends. I’m fortunate to have had her in my life for so long. When Casey finds hers, she’s already 99. But what a miracle! Her grandma owns the 300 acre Black family farm, and Casey learns what it’s like to have a quiet life. What it’s like to feel the soil on your hands, to plant, to grow. And through her great-grandmother’s journals, she learns about her family’s past. She meets new family and friends. Most importantly, she finds her grandmother’s faith in God.
The Thing About Home is absolutely breathtaking. It will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. These characters weren’t just characters in a book; they were so real. Casey grows so much during her time in the South. Her story becomes infinitely more than it ever would have been had she not been a jilted vow renewal bride. In our lives, things often look bleak and hopeless. We mess up. But God always has a plan; He’s never surprised. He doesn’t make bad things happen to us, but bad things happen because we live in a flawed, sin-filled, evil world. But God promises to be with us through the fires, storms, darkness, and valley of death.
If you are a fan of southern fiction with romance and life-altering events, you will love The Thing About Home by Rhonda McKnight. I highly recommend it!
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
Author Rhonda McKnight skillfully intertwines themes of love, self-discovery, and the power of connection, creating a captivating narrative that resonates deeply with readers. The vivid descriptions of the enchanting Lowcountry, with its charm, warmth, and tantalizing culinary traditions, transport readers to a palpable world. McKnight's meticulous attention to detail immerses readers in the sights, sounds, and flavors of the region, making the setting come alive.
While the book follows a familiar storyline, it is the emotional depth and growth of the characters that keep the narrative engaging and poignant. Protagonist Casey Black undergoes a profound transformation that is portrayed with authenticity and grace, resonating with readers on a profound level. Her journey from a place of uncertainty to a profound sense of purpose and belonging is both captivating and deeply moving, forging a strong connection between readers and the story.
The Thing About Home by Rhonda McKnight is a satisfying and heartwarming novel that beautifully captures the essence of finding oneself amidst a vibrant and richly depicted backdrop. It reminds us that home transcends physicality, encompassing the feelings of connection, love, and acceptance. With compelling characters, an evocative setting, and themes of self-discovery and renewal, this book will undoubtedly appeal to fans of contemporary romance and those who appreciate narratives exploring the transformative power of family and heritage. - Orsayor L Simmons
Home is not a place—it’s a feeling. Casey Black needs an escape. When her picture-perfect vow renewal ceremony ends in her being left at the altar, the former model turned social media influencer has new fame—the kind she never wanted. An embarrassing viral video has cost her millions of followers, and her seven-year marriage is over. With her personal and business lives in shambles, Casey runs from New York City to South Carolina’s Lowcountry hoping to find long-lost family. Family who can give her more answers about her past than her controlling mom-slash-manager has ever been willing to share. What Casey doesn’t expect is a postcard-worthy property on a three-hundred-acre farm, history, culture, and a love of sweet tea. She spends her days caring for the land and her nights cooking much needed Southern comfort foods. She also meets Nigel, the handsome farm manager whose friendship has become everything she’s never had. And then there are the secrets her mother can no longer hide. Through the pages of her great-grandmother’s journals, Casey discovers her roots run deeper than the Lowcountry soil. She learns that she has people. A home. A legacy to uphold. And a great new love story—if only she is brave enough to leave her old life behind.
Beautifully written. This was the perfect story to read. It has everything from family secrets to dynamic self growth and discovery. Will recommend to others.
Happy pub day!
I love how connected we are to family and love. I love these types of stories where you find that lost family and you love them through the ups and downs. I love the characters and the hardships that each pursue. The family has unconditional love and it's really evident through the story. I was able to get into this story really quickly and it felt like I was there with Casey throughout. I could not recommend this book more!
5/5 stars for long last family, unconditional love, and what it really means to find yourself!
**Thank you to NetGalley for giving me a free review copy. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
I am not sure where or how to start this review without spoilers. I felt right at home reading The Thing About Home, it took me back to the farmland my great-grandfather owned/worked in Alabama.
This story started with a popular social media influencer Casey being left at the altar, by her then-husband of seven years, Was it the seven-year itch, or something else? Drew just left. I felt as if the Black family was my family.
Ms. McKnight covered several genres in this novel, there was a romantic element, a dual timeline, and historical fiction dealing with life after the Civil War, Women's fiction, and family drama. As she transitions from one subject to the next it was very smooth, as the reader I wanted to see what was next,
The Thing About Home is a must-read, Rhonda has written the Bennett and the Black family. What"B" will the next family be?
Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas Nelson Publishing, and Rhonda McKnight for an ARC in exchange for an honest review
The Thing About Home is a beautifully written novel about love, family, faith, and finding your true self. All the characters were extremely likable. I enjoyed seeing Casey grow throughout the book and find not only her family and roots, but also herself. It is a book that I will think about for a long time.
I highly recommend The Thing About Home and I have added more Rhonda McKnight books to my TBR!
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
I loved this book so much. While I didn't have much in common on the surface with the characters, I so enjoyed following along on Casey's journey. Further, the supporting relationships with her grandmother and Nigel made me so invested. Excited to see what Ms. McKnight puts out next!
The main characters in this novel were well developed. They instantly draw the reader into their story. One cannot help but love the grandmother. The layers in the storyline kept peeling back to reveal more about the story of Casey B. I would love to see this story continue in another book.
Thank you NetGalley and publisher for this ARC publication for an honest review.
This was my first Rhonda McKnight book and will not be my last! She has a richly detailed way of writing that draws the reader into the story. It was part historical fiction with a Christian flavor, but not overly preachy. Both the past and current timeline was deeply structured around the family relationships with well-drawn characters. The story focuses on Casey Black, a social media influencer after her world implodes leading her on a journey to not only find herself, but her lost family. There are also chapters mixed in with her ancestors' stories as well. I was invested in both timelines.
There was so much of this book I loved. The vivid setting, the delicate weaving of characters and the history that connects them, the building of relationships...family, friendships, romantic. Casey's whole healing journey with the Black family was just so lovely the way they immediately embraced her. And while I did not like Casey's mother for most part, the author managed to give us some vulnerability and even understanding of her character at the end.
Reading this book felt like coming home, I can hardly wait to check out more from this author! I thoroughly enjoyed my initiation into her works...:)
An interesting look at Black history. One of the many low points in man's history, slavery and its aftermath. Finding one's roots and romance. Sweet romance. Sad secrets and events in the family lineage. The tale kept getting more interesting. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed are completely my own.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading "The Thing about Home " by Rhonda Mcknight! This story reminds that life is not always going to be kind and go the way you want it to, but always stay the course and don't give up. Sometimes you have to visit the past to live your future. And most importantly, love conquers all.
I have been a fan of Rhonda's books since the beginning. And although I've enjoyed all of her books, this one has been my favorite. I finished it earlier this month, a few days before release day, and I have been having the hardest time putting my feelings down about this book without it sounding like every one else. This woman knows how to write a story that will have your emotions all over the place. The writing style and flow was just brilliant, and I just could not put it down. IT was such a great mix of romance, contemporary fiction, drama and historical fiction. If i did a top 5 of favorite books, this would be one of them. And the way Casey's character evolved and grew was like no other I've read in a while. I Can't stop thinking about these characters nor this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! It was a very well rounded story, where you learned about Casey, her family and their history, and also her romantic relationship. You learned about each character in detail and I felt like I was a part of the Black family. That is how well the author drew me into the storyline. I definitely recommend this book!
This wonderful book about home lets you know home is not a place it is a feeling. Casey Black goes back to her roots to figure out life after her husband decided not to renew their wedding vows. Casey goes back to South Carolina and falls in love with the big farm and falls in love with Nigel.. Casey’s mom kept some family secrets from her.This book was a great easy read. I can’t wait to share this novel with my book club.
i loved this story of family, history and self discovery. i didnt want it to end.
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Fiction and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Rhonda McKnight has a way of hooking you on the very first page and not letting go until long after you’ve reached the end. In The Thing About Home Casey B is a social media influencer who gets humiliated on social media. Somehow, Ms. McKnight managed to do a jilted married bride that worked perfectly.
But it was when Casey returns to her roots in South Carolina that kept me engaged and wondering how the story would end. You get extended family, Southern cooking, a swoony new love interest, and faith. It’s a perfect combination that will endear readers and have them checking out Ms. McKnight’s backlist.
*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. My review was not required nor influenced.
This is a book you don't want to miss! It's a beautifully written story that is full of love and family. Once you start reading it, you don't want to put it down.
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson--FICTION via NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Well written story of Casey B who has lived her whole life in NY not knowing her fathers side of the family. After a heart shattering event she goes to find out who they are and learn about her fathers side. What she discovers is more then she could have ever imagined.
Most people all search and long for the same thing - love, acceptance, belonging, and a family unit. Regardless how they describe it or act out to find what they "need", you can usually boil it down to those very simple and basic things. This heartwarming story reminds the reader that sometimes when things initially don't go as planned, that just makes space for better things to come down the road, that we just can't see yet, I highly recommend this well written story about love, family, finding one's self, and where you are meant to be - and how it all ultimately ties together.