Going Home

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

Going Home A Chandler Hill Book 1 by Judith Keim

5 Stars

Going Home is my very first I have read by Judith. Let me tell you... it won't be my last! I could not put this down. I kept wanting more and more! I absolutely LOVED IT!! Can not wait for book in the series!!

"Home was as complex as her family."

VERY highly recommend!! ITS AMAZING!
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This is the first book I’ve read by Judith Keim, and it will not be the last. I’m so glad I accepted an invitation from the publisher, via Net-Galley, to read and review. My opinions are my own are not influenced in any way.

I thoroughly enjoyed Going Home. It’s unique because it follows a woman’s entire adult life. I enjoy women’s fiction, and this is an excellent one. The pacing is great, keeping me engaged from the beginning to the end. 

Lettie’s character is complex. She is flawed and at times impulsive, but she is so interesting, I fell in love with her. It’s no wonder she’s in a hurry to find someone to love after growing up in foster care. I could understand how she fell so quickly for Rafe, only to be cast off because he bows to his family’s expectations. She does not let it color her future. When love comes along with her friend, Kenton, again she falls hard and fast.

There are actually two main male characters and a key secondary one in Going Home. Rafe who marries another to satisfy his family and Kenton, the young man who saves Lettie from a life on the streets in San Francisco. Then Kenton’s father, a man who takes Lettie under his wing.

Rafe’s character did not appeal to me in the beginning of the book but more than redeems himself by the end of the book. I shall not say more because I do not want to have any spoilers.

Kenton’s character is steadfast and offers Lettie the stability she craves and a family who will love her. My heart ached when he is tragically killed in a car accident. Theirs was a love cut short.

The key secondary character is Kenton’s father. He recognizes Lettie’s talent in knowing what wine is best. He grooms her for his winery, which is a godsend for her. When he dies, she inherits Chandler Hill Inn and Winery and makes it highly successful.

As I mentioned, Going Home follows Lettie’s life. I felt her joy in first love, the fulfillment she begins to feel with Kenton. The pain of losing him so soon, before she even had a chance to tell him they were expecting a child. Lettie is not a natural born mother but none the less, she raises her daughter to be an independent young woman with a huge heart. I enjoyed following her life from young girl to a mature older woman, one who makes some mistakes while learning from them, and lives a full life.

I’m glad I took a chance on Going Home. If you enjoy women’s fiction, then you will love Going Home as much as I. I will definitely look for more books by Ms. Keim. Happy reading!
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This is not the kind of book I usually read, but it was an okay read  there was too much cancer in it for my liking . Going Home by Judith Keim is a women's fiction highlighting the life of Violet "Lettie".
Lettie lived in a foster home with eight other kids and strict, catholic foster parents. She craved the independence of the city and went to San Francisco when she came of age. But the picture life is not always perfect. After four months of trying to settle in the city and failing miserably, Lettie met Kenton Chandler, who offered her a job at Chandler Hills inn in the Willanette valley. When she got there she instantly felt at home on the beautiful rolling hills of the valley.
The book follows Lettie's life journey as she goes through ups and downs. It tells about her attractions, her marriage, her griefs and her happiness. After the death of Kenton and his father Rex, the responsibility of the inn and the vineyard falls on Lettie's shoulders. When she discovers she is pregnant, things become even more difficult than before.
I liked Lettie as a woman and a grandmother, but not as a mother. She admits she spends more time at the inn and the vineyard than with her daughter and on occasions she also said she didn't want her daughter, that she was a burden. So now it doesn't make sense that she expects her daughter to take over the inn from her. 
The process gone behind the making of wine was fascinating.. I liked Rex's character and to know he was inspired by a real man made it more better. I couldn't connect with Lettie's character and the mother-daughter relationship didn't help either. But the book was good. Maybe other people will like it more than me. 
Thank you to Netgalley and wild quail Publishing for giving me an ARC of this book.
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Judith Keim is becoming one of my favorite authors. Her writing pulls you into the stories she writes, so much so that you do not want the story to end. In “Going Home” Violet (Lettie) leaves the foster system in Ohio as soon as she reaches 18. Never knowing her parents she yearns to belong and makes her way to San Francisco. It too is a disappointment and needing  to find work, Lettie meets Kenton Chandler and accepts a job and ride to Oregon with him. This decision to work in Kenton’s fathers inn and vineyard changes the course of her life. Lettie’s life in Oregon is unexpected, thrilling and tragic. She has a strong sense of honor toward the Chandlers and this leads to her to discovering her strengths and fortitude. This is an emotional story of love for land, family and second chances that lasts until you turn the final page.
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Lettie is a foster kid who jumps out the system right to California. She runs through her money quickly and finds herself desperate for a job. Sitting on a stoop, Lettie meets Kenton who offers to take her away to Oregon to his family winery. Lettie decides to go to Oregon, meets Kenton's father and starts to build a life in a place she really loves.

Talk about insta-love x2. I was taken aback by the lack of character development that lead to not one but two proclamations of love. I was thinking that I could maybe believe a relationship with Kenton because he saved Lettie from homelessness. But Lettie literally jumps right from Rafe to Kenton.

Lettie gets married only to be widowed during a tragic accident, leaving her the owner of the start up winery, a single mother and having to face it all on her own. Lettie goes from innocence to strength, mother to grandmother and transverses 48 years of her life. 

Its a story of love, life, and death. A very fast telling for what I thinks was 48 years of Lettie's life. I found Going Home a quick easy read.

I received this ARC copy of Going Home from. Wild Quail Publishing. This is my honest and voluntary review. Going Home is set for publication Feb. 13, 2019.

My Rating: 3 stars
Written by: Judith Kemp
Series: Chandler Hill Inn Series 
Sequence in Series: Book 1
Paperback: 311 pages
Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing 
Publication Date: January 24, 2019
ISBN-10: 0999244868
ISBN-13: 978-0999244869
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Going-Home-Cha...
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/goin...
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I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars.  It was a wonderful, beautiful, at times heartbreaking story.  A young girl from foster homes finds a job at an inn that will one day be a vineyard.  She loves the owner and his son, but sadly they are taken away from her too soon.  She bravely carries on to make the vineyard what her father-in-law always wanted it to be.  Truly a beautiful story.  I highly recommend.
I got this book from NetGalley for an honest review
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In this novel, Keim captures the 1970's era perfectly. It is a poignant story of a young woman coming to grips with the unfortunate hand life has given her. It is well-written and well paced. A great start to what promises to be a good series.
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QUOTE

I hated this book at the beginning but it got really good really fast. The first half of the book was just explaining everything that happened in the blurb so it was boring since I already kind of knew what was going to happen.

The thing I didn't like at all in this book is that there is zero character relationship development. I was fuming with rage just 50 pages into the book. Lettie, the protagonist, grew up in a foster home. That does not mean she has never interacted with humans before. So, why is getting so horny near all these guys??? She kisses Rafe and spends one night with him. One night. And suddenly she's in love with him. She doesn't know anything about him! And she cries ALL THE TIME. It's horrifying. And then Rafe breaks up with her (before they even got together) and the next day she kisses Kenton, and immediately falls in love again. Apparently, Kenton's kiss felt so 'right' in a way Rafe's didn't. I just wanted to highlight the absurdity of these events that happened in the span of a few pages. I didn't even get the chance to care.

Okay, I'm done ranting now. There was some charcter development though. Lettie was annoying and selfish at the beginning but she matured near the end and actually runs Chandler Hill really well.

The setting and overall description of characters personality/thoughts could have been fleshed out more to give the book an added depth. Most of the time I couldn't picture what was going on or the emotions didn't really reach me. It was a very dry book is terms of feeling. The plot line was really good though, so you can still get through it.

I'll probably read the next book because I want to know what happens to characters.
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Going Home is the beautifully-told story of Lettie Hawkins and her lifelong transformation from homeless 18 year-old to an older woman in charge of her destiny. Even though it is told in 3rd person, Judith Keim was able to relay Lettie's fears and hesitation at the new life she found with Kenton Chandler and his father, the very charming Rex. It's truly a dream come true for this naive young woman who is literally saved from the streets of San Francisco and shown a kinder world at the Chandler Inn. Never in her wildest dreams as a foster child would she imagine going on to manage said Inn and become not only a wine expert but a well-revered one as well.

Keim takes Lettie through despair, hope, tragedy and friendship in her journey. But it's the love that continues to see her through, with Rafe and Kenton and then in her daugher Autumn and grandchild in Cami. Lettie is a survivor and despite every loss and responsibility thrown at her through the years, she somehow finds a way to push forward and does it quite well.

Relationships with the loves of her life and great friends are what see her through time and again and all the secondary characters are well-placed and added just the right touch.

The angst level is lighter than I'm accustomed too even with all that Lettie faces but overall it was an enjoyable read and I wouldn't mind continuing the series with Cami at that helm in book two.

4 stars.
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I loved this book. Great writing, great story.  A tenacious young lady who has no family and grew up in the foster system sits down on someone’s steps, too hungry and tired to move. A chance meeting leads to a whole new life for her. Throughout her life, there are many trials and tribulations yet she continues to persevere. I laughed and I cried while reading this and am ever so glad I read it. I can’t wait for the next installment.
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An e-ARC was provided for me by NetGalley in return for my honest review of the book. 

This was an easy, fast-paced read that follows the main character, Lettie, through almost fifty years of her life. We meet Lettie when she's aged out of the foster care system at age 18. She ventures off to San Francisco on her own and meets Kenton. He offers her a job in Oregon about five minutes after meeting her and she agrees. (Kids, if you're reading this, don't take jobs from strangers you just met.) Thankfully, this worked out for Lettie and she discovers her passion for winemaking, and the love of not one, but two men,  in Oregon. 

Although the writing was solid, the fast-pace and weak character development made it a little difficult at time to totally fall in love with the characters. That being said, it was a nice easy read. 3.75/5.
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Going Home is a heart wrenching book, during the times of the 60's 70's, the Vietnam War and into the 2000's, it is about strength, determination and the loves of Lettie, a young girl from a foster home who finds herself by chance in a completely different world from the generosity of a stranger who offers her a job in his father's vineyards. I was completely immersed in this book, with the beautiful descriptive writing, and the authors' way of bringing her characters to life. I felt like I was right inside her story. Many events brought tears, many brought smiles, and I guessed one of the surprises early on but that did not take away from the plot development, it only made it more real and there were more that I didn't guess that happened and shocked me. This book is a riveting journey of Lettie's life, one that was hard to put down, wondering how this story would end. I can't wait to read the next book in the series after reading the first chapter I am hooked.
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READING PROGRESS
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Going Home was a great, easy read. The characters were fleshed out perfectly and the story lines were wonderful. When we first meet Lettie she’s young and life hasn’t been easy for her. As an orphan she’s never experienced a real family but after meeting a helpful young man named Kenton her life actually begins. I didn’t want to put this book down and found myself resenting having to go to work when all I wanted to do was read! There is a fair amount of heartbreak, but it helped create a rich and satisfying story. The only thing that left me puzzled was the character Rod. I think I expected more of his story line but was happy there wasn’t much of one. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, Coming Home.
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At eighteen, Lettie having aged out of the foster program in Ohio, moves to the West coast. She's desperate for a job so when Kenton Chandler offers one at the family vineyard, she readily accepts. I know Lettie was only eighteen, but falling in love with Rafe then Kenton within days of each other was not believable. To me the story was rushed and predictable. Hopefully, the next book will have more depth.
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I didn't vibe with this book, so I'll admit didn't really enjoy reading it. I was expecting something very different from reading the book description, perhaps something about the protagonist's - Lettie's - struggle to continue looking after Chandler Hill after the untimely deaths of her father-in-law and husband, while juggling raising a child as a single mother. I'd thought the title was alluding to Lettie's trials in building her new home at Chandler Hill.

Instead, I felt that there was more telling than showing, about the progress of the inn. Chandler Hill became a setting against which other trials in Lettie's life - particularly her struggles with her slightly estranged daughter Autumn - came to take precedence. The book skips over several years, at one point I think skipping from Autumn's infancy to her adolescence. While I prefer skipping years in which nothing much happens over dragging the narrative along, it stopped me from properly feeling for any of the characters. Not to mention, Lettie didn't particularly interest me as a character- I think I would've preferred reading this book from her daughter's perspective, even if it's meant to span Lettie's lifeline. Lettie's not exactly a doormat, but she doesn't have the fire I read in her daughter, who'd appeal to me better as a protagonist. I think if things had slowed down and I wasn't being given a skim-through of Lettie's lifetime, with sudden stops in which I'm reading the action play out better detail, I might've been able to immerse myself into the narrative better.

Conclusion: it isn't so much that this wasn't a good book as it's the kind of book that doesn't interest me and doesn't fit my personal taste. I'm not going to discount the author's research into building this world and efforts at writing the story.
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“Going Home” follows the life of Lettie, a former foster child who has left her home of Dayton in California.  After being disillusioned with her life there, she finds her way to Oregon and an area that is on the brink of exploding into one of the countries premier wine-making areas.  Through the course of this book, we see Lettie as time passes on, and through the many facets of her life.
This story was charming.  The story line was a roller coaster of events, each helping to shape and mold Lettie into the person she was.  While I personally would have rather had some of the story lines developed more, I can understand the appeal of this story to a reader.  This story left a lot of questions for me, and some unresolved feelings.  I am hoping that they will be resolved in the sequel.  
I received an e RC from Netgalley, in exchange for my honest and voluntary review.
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I really enjoyed this book by a new author for me!, I loved the story line and connected to the charters right away!!
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Going Home
by Judith Keim
Description
In 1970, Violet Hawkins’ only wish at eighteen is to escape her life in the Dayton, Ohio, foster-care system and make her way to the west coast to enjoy a mellow life and find the love she’s been missing all her life. She makes it to San Francisco, but soon learns she needs a job if she’s to live properly. A kind, young man named Kenton Chandler offers her a sandwich and a job at his father’s inn and vineyards. With nothing to lose, Lettie takes him up on his offer and begins a whole new life in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. She immediately falls in love with the land and is fascinated with the idea of growing grapes in order to make wines. She, Kenton, and Rafe Lopez become friends as she learns about running the small inn on the property. At the same time, she marries Kenton, a stroke kills his father. And then before she can tell Kenton she’s pregnant, he dies in an automobile accident. Heartbroken and burdened with the gift of the Chandler Hill Inn and Winery, she’s left with the task of making them a success. Struggling to raise a child alone while working to grow the business, Lettie makes a shocking discovery that changes everything.
Going Home will be available for purchase in print, audiobook and ebook formats upon its release. 
Sweet Lettie (Violet) was truly a joy to know. Such kindness and some sadness. It was truly a wonderful read. Lettie had loss, love and family and home is where you make it, with those sometimes you choose, or choose you. If you finish too fast, with tissue and smiles...remember Lettie has a Series. 
Thank you very much for the honor NetGalley for the advance copy.
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I have been drawn into a brand new series, in this first book of the series,  by Judith Keim and I couldn't be more excited!   It's a story that introduced me to Lettie (Violet Hawkins) and her determination to find her place in life.  I hurt for her in the beginning with the childhood she endured and the foster parents who told her she was never going to be anything in her life.   Tired of the life she was in, she strikes out for a new life in the "free love" of California only to find out that it wasn't any kind of life at all.  Hungry and homeless, destiny brings her and Kenton Chandler to cross paths.  He offers her a job at his family vineyard business and she's more than eager to accept.
The story takes the reader on a lifetime journey with Lettie.  There are so many emotions that my heart went through with her.  From all consuming love to the most devastating events, I felt the power of Lettie to pull through each and every situation her life brought her to.  She stood up for her principles with determination.  She has so much love and compassion for those she's loyal to.  She loves with an infinite heart.  I love the character of Lettie and felt a part of her life throughout the book.
Ms. Keim has a wonderful descriptive gift of writing.  The research she put into the grape growing and wine making business is obvious and I learned how much there is that goes into that.  I love the setting of the Willamette Valley in Oregon and I would love to visit there but   feel like I have from reading this book.  
I want to thank Ms. Keim and Lake Union for the honor of reading an ARC copy of this wonderful book.  I am very much looking forward to reading the second book in this series, Coming Home, and living the next chapter in the Chandler Hill Inn Series.  I definitely give it 5 stars.
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This book is truly fantastic!  The journey of Lettie from age 18 to being a mother and then Grandmother is phenomenal. I devoured this book in one sitting.  The love and loss in this book are heartwrenching. 
The book is so well written, the characters so real.  To say I loved this book is an understatement!
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