Anchorage, 1956. When Marie and Lawrence first lock eyes at the Moose Lodge, they are immediately drawn together. But when they decide to marry, days later, they are more in love with the promise of homesteading than anything. For Lawrence, his parcel of 150 acres is an opportunity to finally belong in a world that has never delivered on its promise. For Marie, the land is an escape from the empty future she sees spinning out before her, and a risky bet is better than none at all. But over the next few years, as they work the land in an attempt to secure a deed to their homestead, they must face everything they don't know about each other. As the Territory of Alaska moves toward statehood and inexorable change, can Marie and Lawrence create something new, or will they break apart trying?
Engrossing ... Moustakis’s language is spare and exquisite, tough and lovely. The sentences build on themselves, becoming expansive and staggering in their sweep ... Moustakis finds magnificence in the smallness.
A book that's as stark and beautiful as its icy setting ... Homestead is a deeply interior novel by necessity: Lawrence is reticent by nature, and the characters frequently find themselves alone with their thoughts. There is dialogue in the novel, and it's unfailingly true to life; Moustakis particularly does a wonderful, understated job with Marie and Sheila's east Texas vocabulary and cadences. But she's equally adept at the silences that mark the characters' seemingly small moments ... Homestead is a beautiful novel, quiet as a snowfall, warm as a glowing wood stove. It's also a profound look at how we navigate one another, and what it means to reveal ourselves to the ones we care about.
The natural world is ever-present in this work, and most of the shatteringly beautiful writing has at its center a mountain range, a body of water, an animal or the snow ... The final third of the novel plunges deeper into questions of ownership and entitlement, with Moustakis' well-drawn characters reaching wildly different conclusions in this often somber, often radiantly beautiful work.