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Fields of Home

2008 Whitney Finalist for Best General Fiction


One decision frozen in time. A choice that can never be altered.

After fighting her way through a bitter and hurtful past, Mercedes Johnson has painstakingly carved out a life of quiet contentment on a Wyoming farm with her husband, Wayne, and their three sons. Together she and Wayne have survived the worst trials a couple can face, and their relationship has grown as solid and lasting as the farmland beneath their feet. If their relationship is not everything Mercedes might have hoped for, it is enough.

All that changes when the birth father of Mercedes' oldest child returns to Riverton. Dr. Brandon Rhodes, a renowned heart surgeon, has plans for the son he has never met. Resentful at the secret Mercedes has kept for thirteen years, he threatens the carefully balanced life she and Wayne have created. Just how far is he willing to go to gain what he feels is rightfully his?

As Mercedes uncovers the truth of Brandon's intentions regarding their son and the lies surrounding the past, she is torn between what is and what might have been. One choice, one decision, has led her to this place. How can she live with the consequences?

In this painfully honest novel, author Rachel Ann Nunes explores the deepest kind of ties and the true definition of love.

What Others Are Saying

In this book, Rachel Ann Nunes does an excellent job of tying the worlds of Mercedes Walker and Mercedes Johnson together. Mercedes' struggle to find her place is a struggle that many women can relate to. Who hasn't wondered what might have been had they chosen differently in the past? So often, women of today are confronted with options that can seem more glamorous or more fulfilling than everyday life. Throughout this story, Mercedes and the reader come to see that there is great merit in the quiet, unconditional love that is built over time. (See full review on AML list archives.)
  —Jaymie Reynolds
Every once in a while a book comes along that touches something in all of us. For me, this book touched that little part of me that wonders sometimes where I would be if I'd made different choices in this life. But just as we are free to make the choice, we can't always choose the consequences. Fields of Home looks at the consequences of fateful choices and how it affects two families, two people, and one child. It is honest and deep, some parts of the book really reflecting the pain of "what could have been." I loved how Ms. Nunes weaves the theme throughout without becoming redundant or preachy.

It is about Mercedes Johnson, a woman who had a difficult childhood, who found love then lost it, and finally carved out a peaceful life for herself, her husband and her three sons. She's overcome so much in her life, forgiven and tried to forget, but one day a ghost from the past comes back to claim what he believes to be his---Mercedes' oldest child. Mercedes is a character that every woman can relate to, she wants to protect her family and her heart, but that little piece of her wonders, what if? She is forced to face the demons of the past, to search her heart, and to make a choice—a choice that will change the life of everyone she loves. It is gut-wrenching in some scenes and Ms. Nunes is really able to allow the reader a glimpse into the pain and indecision of her characters while making the story so realistic it pulls you in and doesn't let you go until the last page.

It is one of those books that makes you think, long after you've put it down, and I highly recommend it.
  —Julie Bellon of Ut
Fields of Home, is really not a romance, but it is definitely a love story. Most people face those moments when they run onto someone or something from their past and they wonder, what if I'd made a different choice all those years ago? The story is deeply satisfying and one of Nunes's finest works. Though the book falls in that vague category labeled "Women's Fiction", I think it will be enjoyed by many men as well as the expected teen and adult female audience. Many readers will identify with the hard choices the various characters in Fields of Home face. They will also appreciate the depth and complexity of human emotion exposed in this book. Whatever, your reading tastes, give this book a try; I think most will be pleased with what they find in it. (To read full review visit Meridian Magazine online.)
  —Jennie Hansen of UT
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Author's Comments

I'm very excited about the release of this book. Mercedes is a character I greatly admire, and I feel that in a large way she represents every woman. No matter who we are, we face great trials, and how we react to events shows what we're made of. My product director at Shadow Mountain feels this the the strongest novel of mine that they have yet published.

Sample Chapter

On the day Brandon Rhodes came back into her life, Mercedes Walker Johnson was shopping at Safeway, not expecting anything out of the ordinary and c  (more...)

Where to Buy

Softcover Tradeback $15.95 suggested retail price.
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General Info

Shadow Mountain, Softcover Tradeback, Women's Fiction, 302 pages.
First printing in February 2008
ISBN 978-1-59038-852-5 Type other info here