cover image The Thing About Home

The Thing About Home

Rhonda McKnight. Thomas Nelson, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-8407-0632-4

In this zippy outing from McKnight (All She Dreamed), a humiliated social media influencer rediscovers her roots. Minutes before a planned vow renewal ceremony, beauty influencer Casey’s husband informs her he’s divorcing her. She takes to Instagram to vent via live video and lashes out at her followers. After the clip goes viral, she takes a cousin’s advice and travels to South Carolina, where she hopes to connect with her extended family. In Georgetown, S.C., Casey meets her 99-year-old grandmother Ma Black, along with the handsome Nigel, who manages the family’s farm. Ma Black shares the family history, from Casey’s great-grandfather’s enslavement to his emancipation and eventual purchase of the land that became the Black farm. While Casey grieves the end of her marriage, her family history puts her problems in perspective. (She also grows close with Nigel.) But when a career opportunity brings her back to New York City, Casey must reevaluate her priorities, relying on her grandmother’s faith as a guide. McKnight lays out some vivid low country history, and her fully realized characters—especially Casey and her sometimes superficial, sometimes serious trials—ring true. This is perfect for fans of Natasha D. Frazier and Pat Simmons. (May)