Authors Showcase: Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer
December 18, 2014
The Book: Nowhere But Home
The Author: Liza Palmer
The Story: Bestselling author Liza Palmer carries readers to North Star, Texas, in the amusing and poignant Nowhere But Home.
After Queenie Wake is dismissed from her restaurant job, she returns to North Star to cook meals for death row inmates.
Hopeful that the bad memories of her late mother and promiscuous sister (now the mother of the captain of the high school football team) have been forgotten by the locals, Queenie discovers that some people can’t be forgotten—heartbreaker Everett Coburn—her old high-school sweetheart.
When secrets from the past emerge, will Queenie be able to stick by her family or will she leave home again?
Liz Palmer’s Nowhere But Home is a funny and touching story of food, football, and fooling around.
About Lisa Palmer:
Liza Palmer is the internationally bestselling author of Conversations with the Fat Girl which Booklist says, “…manages to infuse a message of self–acceptance that isn’t heavy-handed or cloying. This quick-witted author is sure to develop a following.” Conversations with the Fat Girl became an international bestseller its first week in publication, being named a Target Breakout book, as well as hitting Number 1 on the Fiction Heatseekers List in the UK the week before the book debuted.
Conversations with the Fat Girl has been optioned for series by HBO by the producers of Rome, Band of Brothers and Generation Kill.
Palmer’s second novel is Seeing Me Naked, which Publisher’s Weekly says, “consider it haute chick lit; Palmer’s prose is sharp, her characters are solid and her narrative is laced with moments of graceful sentiment.”
Palmer’s third novel is A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents.
Palmer currently lives in Los Angeles and is hard at work on her next novel as well as several film and television projects.
Review by Rhianna Walker:
If you love a quirky heroine who has some big struggle to work through with her family or past you will latch onto Queenie Wake and not let go. She’s grown up under the scrutiny of a small Texas town’s population thanks to the well deserved reputation her mother earned. But the sins of the mother shouldn’t be affecting those she’s spawned and NOWHERE BUT HOME is very much about the secrets and truths of a town bent on appearances.
Through an odd set of circumstances that leave Queenie cooking last meals for death row convicts the reader will be wrapped in the subtleties of what the contents of the meals mean. Food has such a huge significance within human life the look at what it means in death is both fascinating and for the sake of the story, quite enlightening.
Twice Palmer had me shedding tears. This is just one of those stories that’s funny and moving and satisfying.
Review by C. Wong:
I really loved this book. What book can make you identify with the main character when you are nothing like her? But I did feel very close to Queenie Wake. Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer is a book that is very difficult to stop reading. The main character, Queen Elizabeth Wake was named by her mother in order to get respect from the town. Her mother, Brandi Jacques Wake is good looking, an unwed mother, a thief and promiscuous. Her mother was cold and never cared about the whereabouts of her daughters. The only good thing that she gave Queenie was to know how to cook.
It was a tough life for Queenie and her sister Merrie Carol. They were girls from the other side of the tracks. Their mother had been shot when Queenie was growing up. Little bits and pieces were gently revealed about her mother and why Queenie left town, North Star, Texas. After being fired in New York City for scolding a customer for wanting to put ketchup on eggs, she gives up and decides to return to North Star.
Queenie has spent years everywhere and has run out of places to work. She decides to come back home to her sister and her nephew. She finds that the town is the same when she left it, even though her nephew has found a way to escape the scorn. He is a star on the local football team. Her old boyfriend seems to be the same, the gossipy women in her sister’ beauty shop seemed to be the same. This book made me really care about Queenie, Merrie Carol and her nephew.
What stands out to me is the way the author incorporated themes of jealousy, forgiveness, love and down home cooking into a wonderful book. The description of her meal preparation was Zen like,there was a beautiful ending. I have no negative comments about this book. I loved it!