Skip to main content

Homesick Creek


Homesick Creek

Anita, runner-up in a local beauty contest, hit her physical peak in high school, soon to grow fat with childbearing and heredity. Bernadette, fondly nicknamed Bunny, finds herself a man too good-looking to trust, so she doesn't. Hack Neary is just too smooth, the used-car-salesman kind of smooth. In fact, he's exactly that --- a used car salesman, one with a roving eye and maybe a roving, uh, something else. Bunny certainly suspects him at every turn, and it's making Hack crazy.

Anita, on the other hand, is confident of Bob's love. He may be a drunk and a loser, but he's no cheat. His devotion to Anita is true. But when he starts disappearing for long periods without explanation, Anita can't help but wonder why. Does he have some shameful secret, or has he fallen --- one more time --- off the wagon? She has very little time, however, to worry over it because their daughter has moved back home with granddaughter Crystal. Between daycare and the extra mouths to feed, Anita finds almost no chance to sit and mull things over. Plus, she is just so tired.

Meanwhile, Bunny has noticed Hack acting oddly. He seems distracted and does not pay as much attention to her as he used to. Could he be having an affair? There's a real looker working down at the dealership with him who seems mighty attentive, and then there's the time Bunny picked up the phone at home and heard a woman whispering to Hack.

Nearing 40, both women find themselves disillusioned with life. Bunny has plenty of disposable cash, but Anita can barely make ends meet. Her usually cheery outlook starts to wane. "You know what you end up asking yourself?…. How little can I live with…and how much do I need? And the answer keeps getting smaller, and your marriage keeps shrinking." Maybe things would have been different if Anita and Bunny had left the gray, sodden wide spot called Hubbard. But despite all that weighs them down, their friendship remains steadfast.

The two women are by no means model spouses. But maybe Hack isn't as bad as his wife thinks he is. And then maybe Bob is worse than his wife thinks he is. Whatever the case, none of them is a saint. But who in this world is?

While HOMESICK CREEK is, on the surface, a look at the seedy side of small town life and the ugly side of the people in it, ultimately it weighs in as a story of genuine friendship, love gone wrong, and families in crises.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on November 28, 2006

Homesick Creek
by Diane Hammond

  • Publication Date: November 28, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345460995
  • ISBN-13: 9780345460998