Sing Me Home
Jerri Corgiat’s debut novel, Sing Me Home, is a sweet novel about a woman getting a second chance at love and family and a man struggling to get past his demons and live in the moment.
Lilac O’ Malley still mourns the loss of her unborn child and the death of her husband three years after the accident that killed him and caused her to miscarry. After the subsequent death of her brother, Lilac is simply going through the motions of living while working at the family book store when Jon Van Castle rushes in to hide from a mob of fans.
Country music star Jonathan Van Castle had it all until scandal and a vindictive ex-wife ruined his life. While getting his career back on track he discovers his ex-wife is once again using drugs. Jon agrees to take care of their children for eight months while she’s in re-hab but soon realizes the children cannot go back to their mother because of mis-treatment at her hands. His guilt is tremendous and he derives a plan to win full custody of his kids.
Jon decides the best way to gain full custody is to marry. He asks Mari, Lilac’s sister, after seeing her interact with his kids for a day, but immediately realizes she’s not mature enough and goes after her sister instead. Lilac agrees, mainly to keep Mari safe and save her family’s beloved cabin, attributing nothing to the instant attraction they feel for one another. The remainder of the book details their learning to live together – how Lilac learns to live with fame, money, and fighting her attraction for Jon.
Jon’s ex-wife causes a great deal of conflict for the couple; once she gets a whiff of what her ex is trying to do she does not let up.
Lilac is the one stabilizing factor in the book. She wants to keep the children in her small town in the home she and her first husband shared to give the children a good foundation. Although she does everything for all the right reasons she lacks backbone until the very end. Her character, in fact, is quite flat throughout the story, which is among my major problems with the book. She is reactive rather than active or, heaven forbid, proactive. Events in the story just seem to happen to Lilac so that readers can watch her reaction, then count how long it’ll take her to forgive Jon.
Jon is presented in an entirely different manner. We see his romantic side in the song he begins writing after looking into Lilac’s eyes. Even so, he behaves like an ass throughout much of the book even if his intentions are good. Without considering the feelings of the women involved, he dumps one sister for the other. He later tries to wrest custody of his children to save them from their drug addicted mother, but rather than staying home to help his children adjust to their new life, he goes back on tour to keep the Van Castle music machine going (for the sake of the band). Most of the book he is not even in the picture and when he is around he makes huge mistakes. Lilac often forgives him because he had a horrible childhood and his first wife was a psycho, manipulative, drug addicted, bitch. But after a while the excuses become one too many and in the end I could not stand him.
Sing Me Home is a well-crafted story and those looking for small-town settings, children in the mix and alpha heroes may enjoy it. It’s good points, though, are almost overwhelmed by a doormat of a heroine and an all-too-flawed hero.