cover image Homeland


John Jakes. Doubleday, $25 (785pp) ISBN 978-0-385-41724-2

The bestselling author of North and South returns with a new first-rate historical series that begins in 1890s Berlin, where young Pauli Kroner ekes out a living as a kitchen helper in a posh hotel. When his consumptive aunt dies, the orphaned Pauli books steerage to America, hoping to be reunited with his wealthy uncle, Joseph Crown, who fought for the Union Army and now heads a brewery empire in Chicago. Surviving a long, perilous journey, Pauli meets his American relatives, among them Aunt Ilsa, whose progressive views cause almost as much friction in the family as eldest son Joe Jr.'s alliance with the socialist labor movement. Pauli unexpectedly falls in love with Julie Vanderhoff, strong-willed daughter of a Chicago meat-packing millionaire who hates foreigners, further complicating the drama. Jakes portrays the Crowns, leading civic figures in Chicago, moving among a crowd of influential and important people, including Jane Addams, Teddy Roosevelt and Eugene Debs. Chock-full of fascinating period detail, his captivating story brings to life the sounds, smells and tastes of turn-of-the-century America in a manner comparable to Michener's Hawaii and Doctorow's Ragtime . An absolute must for the beach. Author tour; major ad/promo. (July)