I’m excited to report that Brenda S. Anderson’s ninth novel released this week. Place Called Home is the second of her books in the Potter’s House series. Place Called Home is the eleventh Potter’s House book, but you do not need to read them in order as they are standalone novels written by several different authors.
Place Called Home has two themes. The first is obeying God’s promptings. Nate Brooks, who is intent on his own plans, gets distracted by divine interruptions to help someone in trouble. Have you ever had long anticipated plans changed by a nudge from that small, still voice? Nate always answers because he wants to be obedient. Answering isn’t always easy though since answering often is inconvenient. Others find it frustrating that he is always bringing people into Our Home, a place for homeless people, at the “wrong” time. There is never a wrong time with God, however. It is nice to read about this sort of dilemma.
The second theme is about dangerous choices we can make. Readers are hooked from the beginning as Tessa flees her abusive boyfriend. How she got to this point though was through her choices. Deciding to run involves others and puts them in danger. It is true that our choices rarely just affect ourselves.
Unlike Anderson’s earlier novels, the plots of the books in this series are less complicated because there are no subplots. This makes the novel a pleasant and easy quick read. The satisfactory ending brought a smile of pleasure when I completed the well-written story. The steady novel tension keeps one wondering how long will she be safe until Jared finds her; and when he does, how will the Brooks family be impacted? The details in this book make it very realistic and draw the reader into the story.
In Place Called Home, we get to spend time with Nate Brooks, whom we have met in earlier books by Anderson. I like him as he shares some interests of my own boy of the same name.
I have followed Anderson’s writing career since her first release so I enjoy learning the Brooks family updates. Anderson’s characters are very realistic so I feel like I’m watching another’s actual life played out. It’s like stepping into the story with old friends and catching up on what is going on in their lives except that they find themselves in some potentially dangerous situations that many of us don’t encounter. But they also find themselves in circumstances that we can relate to so it is a safe place to explore how we might react in comparison. That’s one reason I’m a fan of Anderson’s: she takes real-life issues and creates realistic characters in familiar settings. Caring about the characters increases the tension.
Other topics addressed in this novel include domestic abuse, control issues and misinterpretations of protectiveness and communication. I appreciate the message that there is only one Savior—Jesus. Setting high expectations of our friends and family will lead to disappointment when they fail or a weakness shows. This helps no one. I also like how Our Home operates and how it prepares hurting individuals to live on their own. It’s a great example of how society can help homeless people. Anderson handled Tessa’s trust issues honestly. The Brooks family is an excellent example of how to love others.
Look for my reviews of Anderson’s four novels in the Coming Home Series, three in the Where the Heart Is series, and her other Potter’s House book through the book review tab on my website and/or on my Goodreads. Many enjoy her nitty gritty stories with their satisfying conclusions.