Home at Last

Home at Last

Home at Last (Abingdon, February 2017)

Why did their differences matter so much?

Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he’s stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters’ efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.

All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite–well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?

Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl’s aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee’s On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

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  • It was with a bit of sadness that I started this book, since I knew it would be the last story about the Whitman family and their Chicory Inn. I have to say though, while I enjoyed the previous stories, I think the best two were the last two! (though, that could be due to my having just read them! They are all excellent) I appreciate that, with each story, there are issues tackled and victories won. I like that this one tackled interracial relationships and how events of the past few years have affected them. This is a beautiful story that I highly recommend!

  • This book was beautifully written. There is a lot of angst in it. Tension. But there is also a lot of judgement on families due to adult children’s choices, racial issues, and other drama to work through. It was heart-wrenching. Hurtful, since I’m on one side of the coins being examined.

    This is not a book you read, close with a pleasant sigh and go about your day. This is a thought-provoking book that will make you think and rethink issues.

  • By The Book says:

    Deborah Raney creates highly readable family dramas that are not afraid to tackle tough issues. Her Chicory Inn series has looked at infertility and infidelity, among other things. In the fifth and final book in the series, Home at Last, racism is explored in an honest manner. Home at Last made me think and re-think the issues surrounding race relations and my own expectations and attitudes. A great ending for a great series.

  • This was my first book by this author and I did enjoy this book. I plan on going back to reading all of the other books in the series. This was a quick read for me. I laughed and cried with them. This was a beautiful written story.

    The characters were good. Loved Shayla and Link in this story. They were awesome and love just happens.

    Recommend to my Christian romance readers. A very well heart wrenh read you will love.

  • “Home at Last” by author Deborah Raney is another book in her A Chicory Inn Novel series. Shayla Michaels has a African American father and a white mother. After her mother dies things just get even harder for her. She even starts to take care of her niece because there is no one else left in their family that can. Link Whitman is a man whose family is trying to get him settled in his life. He does not really want a relationship. Shayla meets Link when he almost hits her niece with his car one day. Link helps his parents at Chicory Inn and Shayla runs a coffee shop.

  • This book makes you sad, angry and hopeful all at the same time. You want them to find happiness but are worried for them with the ugly parts of society that don’t want this to happen. This is a truly beautiful and honest book that I fell in love with. The ending was perfect for the story and leaves you with hope. I would love to see a part two of their story.

  • Home At Last by Deborah Raney was a good book, but it left me feeling sad because I hate to say goodbye to the characters that I fell in love with while reading the very first book.

  • Moments says:

    The entire Whitman family became so real to me and I loved how Deborah did not make life easy and smooth for them, but really had them all deal with a variety of things that are a part of today’s society and today’s struggles that so many of us face.  Shayla’s struggles are similar to those that have been a part of the news so much recently, and Deborah addresses them in a way that she doesn’t gloss over them, but shows how a loving family helps her and her father to see that not everyone in the world is filled with hatred and not everyone acts the way that unfortunately some do.  Love and hope are themes throughout this book and series, as is the importance of family and the bond between family members. 

  • I am very saddened to see this series come to an end. I have enjoyed my time in Chicory Inn. The author has made readers feel like part of the family. The inn was the central point of each story as the family gathered there for dinners, marriages and spending quality time togther. Each story in the series seemed to build on to each other. We became acquainted with the Whitman family and experienced their trials and accomplishments. The final book in this engaging series is the most powerful and emotional book the author has ever written. She has surpassed my expectations of a storyline that some will consider uncomfortable and writes with real depth and honesty. Thank you for saving the best for last. I wiped away tears during many scenes and at times I was angry because of the ignorance of people that still see others differently.

  • Easy conversations and comfortable at-home moments make the chapters flow right by. I craved cinnamon rolls and homemade bread the whole time I read! The rest of the Whitman crew make appearances to keep things real. I loved the children, who provided moments of lightheartedness to offset the heavy burdens imposed by society. Link was charming as expected, but I rather hoped Shayla didn’t end up with Link. Usually I adore main characters by default, so this experience was hard to overcome.

  • There is an air of hospitality and kindness, with themes of family, love and loss and trust in God in the novel. In contrast there has been some difficult reading of racial injustice and persecution.
    I have loved this Chicory Inn series. It doesn’t feel like a set of books is ending, it is more like an au revoir to old friends. I have become more involved with the lives of the Whitman’s as the series has progressed and it is with sadness that I have read the very last page.

  • Deborah Raney does a good job at facing tough issues, like biracial dating. In this book, she takes us along as the main characters Link and Shayla work through the obstacles they face as a new couple. If you are someone who likes deep thought provoking fiction and an author that addresses some tough issues in her writing then I believe you will love Home at Last. I would also recommend reading all the Chicory Inn series, Each book follows all of the Whitman siblings and their journey to finding their happiness.

  • Home at Last by Deborah Raney is touching and convicting, wrapped in warmth despite the glimpse into the coldness of humanity. And while Link gets an education on how evil can warp attitudes and actions, Shayla’s father learns that there are more genuinely loving people in the world than perhaps he first believed. The framework of these lessons is a love story that is exquisitely sweet, romantic, and fun. I highly recommend this novel for anyone who has ever said “what can I do” as well as for anyone who just wants to enjoy a good romance, a warm family, and a well-written story.

  • Where to start on this book, First I should say I read and reviewed the first three books in this five book series. I like the first three books. Home at Last was book five and it is full of tension and very difficult issues. While it was written wonderfully and the story was different for a final book in a series. I felt like the characters were not like the ones in the first few books. I did however love Link and that made the book worth reading to the end.

  • Home at Last is a fitting and exciting conclusion to the Chicory Inn series.  I loved the romance of the series and the real-life problems that fill it.  Home at Last wraps up most of the family issues and gives them a satisfactory conclusion.
    It didn’t all happen the way that I expected, though.  I wasn’t far into this last book before I was sure that I knew how it was going to end.  I thought I had the perfect solution to each person’s problems, but Raney totally threw me for a loop there.  While I had one main event right, the rest all had twists that I hadn’t foreseen.  Being surprised by a book is always a happy thing.

  • The whole series has been such a joy to read and share with others via reviews! The series’ novels are intertwined so it is important to read them in order: Home to Chicory Lane, Two Roads Home, Another Way Home, and Close to Home. Just like authors, I think readers get attached to characters too, and for me this series really grabbed my heart.

  • Deborah Raney is a fabulous writer. Her stories captures the human emotions and God’s mercy beautifully. My thoughts on Home at Last have more to do with my personal experience as individual of a different ethnicity than the majority in America, than the authenticity of the story, and what the author is conveying in the story itself. Home at Last is a story that conveys the message of diversity, and what that means to God’s eyes; how grace is for ALL; how prejudices and stereotypes can and will be resolve if we open the eyes in our hearts.

  • Deborah Raney writes a humdinger of a final episode to this series. Great writing! Thorough research along with a fascinating story line make this a fantastic series. I loved it!

  • Deborah Raney has covered racial issues in a soft but meaningful way, provided enough suspense that you want to hurry and turn the pages, while showing that we should turn all our reservations and concerns over to God.

  • I have read and enjoyed all the previous books in the Chicory Inn series so it was almost imperative that I read the very last installment. “Home at Last” features Link, the very last unmarried Whitman child and he has received his share of flak about it. It’s not that he doesn’t want to marry – he just hasn’t found the right lady. That situation changed quickly when Link met Shayla Michaels and boy were they both in for some surprises!

  • My first thought was- why make such a big deal about the fact that the main characters are different colors? I don’t care if they’re different colors. I wouldn’t care if the situation were in real life. Why is it a big deal. But as Link and Shayla’s story unfolded, I saw more clearly the difficulties they had to overcome to have a relationship.

  • It seems everywhere you turn today there is an issue with race and discrimination. This book appears spot on with everything it says and hits a lot of key points. I read the book quickly as it’s very reader friendly, flows nicely & isn’t confusing. I love her style of writing, she really appeals to her reader.

    I would recommend this book to anyone!

  • This novel gives you an idea of what it is like dealing with all the stereotypes people of color must deal with without having the ability to change things or walk away from it. I love that Deborah Raney took this risk in making this a part of the Whitman story and conveys to us all that love really is the best gift of all. There are discussion questions that conclude the novel that makes for a great book club find and for me, this one was worth 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion. I love that you don’t even realize that Shayla is a different color until you are well into the story and that is what love is all about, it never takes that into consideration when it unites people together.

  • Author Raney tackles prejudice, race, and past mistakes, showing us that God can handle all of that and with patience, we can all find HOME AT LAST

  • In this final book, Link and Shayla begin a relationship, allowing readers to witness the challenges they must face as a mixed-race couple. Reading the novel as part of a group will open up conversations about topics such as interracial dating and parenting. As always, Deborah Raney includes a Group Discussion Guide at the end. Now, if only a producer would pick them up to create a Chicory Inn mini-series!

  • Home at Last is the final installment in the Chicory Inn series and is my least favorite of them all. This book fell a little flat for me and, though I read the whole way through, I found it hard to stay interested and ended up skipping several pages throughout.

  • Home at Last brings the Chicory Inn novels to a reluctant close for those of us who have laughed and cried with the Whitman family throughout the span of these novels. Raney explores timely and tough issues in this final novel: interracial marriages, racism, and the challenges they bring. Thoughtful and honest in her approach, Raney neither shies away from difficult realities nor throws in extraneous inflammatory incidents as she develops the story and the relationship between Link and Shayla. […] This is not a fluffy read but is an important one that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

  • Overall, I enjoyed reading Home At Last. It’s not exactly a perfect read. There were a few things that held the novel back for me, but I’m not going to nitpick here about what I didn’t like. However, I did like all the characters and the novel’s pacing. I would definitely recommend the title to others.

  • This is a difficult book review for me to write. I am not a big romance reader, but I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. I loved the characters, the interaction between family members, and everything about the books.

  • More of Him says:

    I have read every book of this series and loved it! I connected so much with this family – especially the mom of the book and her husband. This family is so much like mine in so many ways so I was excited to get to read this last book of the series. Unfortunately, it wasn’t what I was expecting.

  • God is Love says:

    The incidents of race-related drama, which are portrayed in this book, is heartbreaking. But the author, Deborah Raney, weaves a story that’s rich in beauty, strong in scenarios that are true to real life, and sweet on the romance between the hero and heroine.

  • This is a contemporary read that really shows that there is still prejudice in regards to people of mixed races still face. Not really fitting into either world can seem daunting and harrowing. . . . If we could but glimpse the way God sees us. I liked how this novel showed realistically the extra challenges that a interracial couple may face.

  • EmpowerMoms says:

    This is book 5 and the final book to the Chicory Inn series by author Raney. I have read all 5 books and overall I thought the series was good. Some of the books and characters I liked more than others, but I loved the concept of each book focusing on a family member and on the Chicory Inn the parents ran.

  • Deb created a beautiful story that hit on a scenario which has touched many of our lives. As Link and Shayla explore a possible relationship that puts both families on guard, Deb creates a story of overcoming differences in the face of love. That’s one thing I like about Deb’s writing, she’s not afraid to write about troubling issues.

  • Home at Last is book 5 in the A Chicory Inn series by Deborah Raney. Deborah has written another book that is so wonderful.

  • The interracial component of the book made it particularly interesting (in a good way) to me! Very relatable and applicable in my own extended-family experience; eye-opening, raw, and honest, as well. We live in unique times, and for that alone I recommend this book. It reminds the reader of the struggles that many people face; the goodness found amidst those challenges; and the Savior that works even the bad for the good of those who love Him.

    Home At Last is a clean, fast read with theological gems and punches throughout.

  • I hope that you check out this book and you enjoy it as much as I did!! I know that I couldn’t put it down once I started. I think that I read it in less then 24 hours. I know that I lost some sleep but it was totally worth it.

  • I really liked how Link and Shayla’s relationship showed the true colors of the Whitman family. In my opinion, this story did a really great job of bringing out Link’s story while bringing the rest of the Whitman family into the story that were highlighted in previous books of this book series.

    Not only did I fall in love with the Chicory Inn series but my mother did too! She read all five books in the series! It reaches out to many different generations!

  • It is not often that a contemporary Christian author takes on such a hot topic as racial prejudice and that made me intrigued to read this book. I thought the author wrote about the subject in real and beautiful terms. Watching Link and Shayla navigate the waters of public opinion made for a really good story. It was one that left me with hope for the future.

  • This story was not what I expected but I was drawn in and moved by the poignant story that captivated this reader.
    By telling a story about race and inter racial marriage in a way that was honoring to God was a blessing.

    The characters were charming and believable. As each struggle with their own pasts and mistakes in dealing with the subject of acceptance.

  • This book is about Link Whitman, who is the last bachelor in his family. He hasn’t really considered settling down until he meets someone who seems to fit every requirement he is looking for in a partner – Shayla. The problem is, Shayla feels like she is bringing a lot of baggage to a relationship. She feels like people will be prejudiced against them because she is African American and Link’s family is white, she is taking care of her niece, her brother is in jail, and her dad is pretty terrifying to potential suitors! Link and Shayla may have a lot of things to overcome, but they just have to decide if their relationship is worth it in the end.

  • This is the fifth in the Chicory Inn Series. Deborah draws you into the stories where you feel like you really know the family and the issues that they face. Sometimes, we can all relate to a good story.

  • This is the fifth book of the Chicory Inn series. The author does a fantastic job keeping the focus on the two principal players, Shayla and Link, with the characters of the other books taking minor roles. This book was very enjoyable. It makes you think about how you view others who may be different from you.

  • Although more widely accepted today than twenty years ago, bi-racial relationships still face challenges, challenges that are not widely discussed nor understood. Deborah Ramey’s Home At Last delves into that sensitive subject via the two likable main characters, Link and Shayla. […] Home At Last navigates mixed race issues from both a community and a family perspective and shows that love can win over hatred.

  • Deborah Raney did a wonderful job addressing the racial tensions throughout this book. I wasn’t expecting this book to address that topic, but I’m so glad it did. It was interesting to see Shayla’s perspective as she has to bridge the gap between two worlds. On top of that, she’s dearly missing her mom as she’s now left taking care of her entire family.

  • Home at Last is the Chicory Inn series finale. I found this story captivating, and rather close to home, since my oldest son is in a serious (inter-racial) dating relationship. It’s sad that there is still such deep racism and prejudice in this day and age. This is an excellent read, and I’d highly recommend it.

  • From page one, Deborah Raney pulls readers into her novel, Home at Last. Raney writes from the heart, bringing the raw emotions of her characters and their stories to life and touching the core emotions of her readers. This story speaks of the hard challenges in life, but how friendship, family, and love can help us pull through.

  • As the Chicory Inn series comes to an end, Raney does a good job of wrapping up the various storylines and providing a nice “riding off into the sunset” feeling in regards to the Whitman family. I was pleased with Home at Last as well as the Chicory Inn series, and would even read them all again.

  • Deborah is a consummate author and I have greatly enjoyed each of the five books in this series. The story is well written, capturing my attention from the first page, and I have particularly enjoyed how, throughout the series, Deborah deals with difficult life issues in a gentle manner that speaks volumes. the story’s strength is its cultural relevance and spiritual impact of unity in Christ, which make it a very compelling read. This eye-opening, insightful story gave me a new awareness and much upon which to reflect, and it will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

  • Book by Book says:

    A heartbreaking and heartwarming conclusion to Deborah Raney’s Chicory Inn series, Home at Last gives Link Whitman his chance at love (finally!). Link doesn’t get an easy romance, but Raney tells a thought-provoking story of family, faith, and racial prejudice. Home at Last is a sweet read, and I think fans of the series, as well as readers of heartfelt family sagas, will enjoy it.

  • Deborah Raney wrote a fantastic 5 novel set and if you haven’t read them, I encourage you to purchase all 5 of them. It is not very often that I give a set 5/5 star ratings, but this is one that I LOVE! In this final book, Raney tackles an issue that could be considered to be taboo in our culture or could be considered normal depending on who you talk with. I loved this book and it absolutely is worth the read. Grab the whole series and this is sure to consume your weekends!

  • “Home at Last” by Deborah Raney is the fifth book in the “A Chicory Inn” series. Raney has done it again with another great book.

  • It was well written, great characters full of personality and real-life situations that are dealt with with such heart and grace. The author bravely and creatively brought in issues that we still see and deal with today. If this last book is any indication of the rest of the series, it is well done. This story captured my attention and I can’t wait to start from the beginning to see how the story started and unfolded to get to this point.

  • A truly heart warming story and I can’t wait to read other novels by the author.

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