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Home Song

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  1,757 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
In Home Song, one of her most acclaimed novels, bestselling author LaVyrle Spencer explores the fragile bonds that exist between family members, the strength it takes to hold them together, and the true meaning of unconditional love. When high school principal Tom Gardner recognizes a new transfer student as the son he never knew -- the result of a one-night stand on the ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 15th 1999 by Berkley Trade (first published 1995)
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Mar 22, 2014 boogenhagen rated it it was ok
Shelves: betrayal
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
BJ Rose
Nov 09, 2009 BJ Rose rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemp-romance
OK, storyline first. Tom & Claire have been happily married for 18 years, and have two teenagers who attend the same high school where Tom is principal and Claire teaches. Monica has just moved to town with her teenage son, and when she enrolls him in school, Tom discovers that Kent is the result of a drunken one-nighter at his bachelor party a week before his marriage to a pregnant Claire. Thus this story begins.

As with any Spencer story, this touches the heartstrings, although mine were re
Apr 17, 2009 Deirdre rated it did not like it
This book reads like a bad made-for-tv movie and was a complete waste of time. Spencer's grammatically shaky, over-emotional and adjective-laden prose made the book a pain to navigate and nearly impossible to enjoy, while her complete inability to draw a realistic human character forced the story into cliche after cliche. Her teenagers were wooden, drenched with sickly sweet kindness and school spirit and completely lacking any normal adolescent characteristics; her adults were erratic, frenzied ...more
Jan 28, 2013 Kevin rated it it was amazing
What a powerful book, a little soapy, but you have to figure I am a grown adult man too. This book could be huge for anyone that has ever went through a divorce, had an affair, had a one night stand, or someone who just plainly made some bad decisions in their lives. This book unfolds and lets us know just what can come of those bad choices and how they can effect our lives and others forever! Just a few minutes or few hours can effect a whole live and possibly a number of lives from one ...more
Jun 30, 2009 kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 28, 2011 Sheri rated it really liked it
B+. I read this book 15 years ago, when it came out. Before she retired, Lavyrle Spencer was an automatic read for me. I've read them all and loved them all. I found this book in a box in the attic and decided to reread it.
It's interesting, there are things in her writing that were probably standard 20 years ago, but the POV changes pop out now. I liked this book, though. I wanted more time with the kids getting to know each other. I hated Claire and her craziness. And I know I read the book to
Mar 17, 2009 Cherice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lavyrle-spencer
I enjoyed this book. I especially appreciate that from the very beginning the story is off and running. It doesn't take 6 chapters to "learn" about the characters or the story. It's right there, in your face, go! A father of 2 finds out he has another 17 year old son from a one night stand. His teenage daughter has already started falling for him and even shares her first kiss. The other son is jealous of his sudden presence on the high school football team. Of course the wife freaks out. Oh, ...more
Jaime Atkins
Jun 17, 2010 Jaime Atkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
This was a very good book. I found this at a thrift store and picked it up because of who wrote it. I have never been disapointed by one of Spencer's books. This one was quite serious and emotional, but an awesome read. I laughed and cried and begged the characters to listen to my advice. That's always a sign of a good book, although they don't always listen to me......go figure.
Rebecca Dean
Aug 22, 2013 Rebecca Dean rated it really liked it
I love the way LaVyrle Spencer writes. I cherish each of her books. Her books are some of the only books that I keep, and that says a lot.

I read this book originally in April 1995, again in 2011 and again in July 2012.

As this is my 4th "Academic rodeo", I have learned that my brain treats me better if I reward it with some leisure reading between semesters. This one was a delight...not a new book, but a dear and familiar author who tackles real life situations and the accompanying emotions with candid grace, including a bit of romance without TMI. From the publisher: In Home Song, one of her most acclaimed novels, bestselling author LaVyrle Spencer explores the fragile bonds that exist between family members, ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing
High School Principal Tom Gardner had the perfect life...a beautiful wife, two teenage children, and the respect of the community. But his world comes crashing down when he meets transfer student Kent Arens and his mother, Monica. Tom recognizes Monica has the pizza delivery girl he had a one-night stand with a week before his wedding to Claire eighteen years ago. He also does the math and realizes the teenager who looks just like him is his son. Tom's worst nightmare happens when the truth ...more
Mar 24, 2011 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens if in one night of indescretion, at a man's bachelor party, a woman becomes pregnant and never tells the man? The man and woman never really knew each other and there was no reason that they would ever see each other again.

The woman raises the child, a son, as a single parent. He's a well adjusted teen -- excels in school and sports. Then, 17 years later, the woman and her son move to a new town and the man who fathered the child is the principal of the high school, his wife teaches
Mar 30, 2013 Becky rated it it was amazing
Tom Gardner has the perfect life. He is the principal of the local High School, his wife Claire of eighteen years is a teacher there, and both of their teenage children are students there. Chelsea is a cheerleader and Robby the star quarter back. They are a devoted family and a pillar of the community. In Septemeber right before the school year is to begin, a woman and her son enter his office to discuss transfering from Texas. When Tom looks at Kent Arens, its like seeing himself 18 years of ...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Mar 01, 2011 Holly (2 Kids and Tired) rated it really liked it
Sometimes it's nice to go back to familiar books. Those books you can pick up and instantly feel at home with the characters and the setting. It's nice to read without being obligated to read. LaVyrle Spencer and Rosamunde Pilcher books are like that for me.

Home Song is one of my favorites. I've read it many times and each time I'm moved by the story. Each time I read it, I'm also annoyed at Claire and her inability to forgive. As the story unfolds and Kent and Tom begin to get to know each othe
May 29, 2016 Ed rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
An unusual genre for me to sample, but I enjoyed it.

Romantic novel - When a new student transfers to principal Tom Gardner's school, Tom instantly recognizes that this teenager is the son he never knew he had, the result of a one-night stand years before. Raised by an adoring and fiercely independent mother who never revealed the name of his biological father, Kent Arens is a fine young man. But his very presence represents something deeper-and darker-to the members of Tom Gardner's family. To C
Apr 01, 2015 Buscadora rated it did not like it
I just came from finishing LaVyrle Spencer's Separate Beds which I really enjoyed. I jumped into this book thinking that there would be a romance story within the plot. There wasn't. No romance. No chemistry. This is a type of love story in which a long-standing marriage is put to the test. I just couldn't get into this storyline. The strength of marriage and family can be beautiful but in this novel, it was boring. The story dragged on and I finished this book just because I had already made it ...more
Pam Wiebe
Jan 24, 2014 Pam Wiebe rated it it was amazing
I randomly selected a book by LaVyrle Spencer from the library shelves a number of months ago and have gone back and selected many of this author's books in the weeks and months since I read the first one.
I really enjoy this author's writing style! I like that her characters are down-to-earth people and I feel that I can relate to many of the characters.

Home Song is my favorite LaVyrle Spencer book to-date.

I felt so many different emotions while reading this book.
I empathized with all of the cha
Apr 17, 2016 Darla rated it liked it
This was a good book about a family that was a perfect unit of happiness until an almost 2 decades old secret showed his handsome (and familiar) face in the town school. I liked the Gardner family; Tom, Claire, Robby, and Chelsea, and I immediately liked Kent Arens too. There were things that bothered me about the book, like Tom's foot-dragging after the appearance of Kent, then later his wife's foolishness, especially where her neighbor was concerned. Not that she didn't have some reason to be ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"High school principal Tom Gardner feels a sense of shock when he sees Kent Arens, a new transfer student. With one glance, Tom can see that this teenager is the son he never knew he had-the result of a one-night stand on the eve of his wedding years before, now grown into an intelligent, athletic, and polite young man. But the boy's presence has a devastating effect on Tom's family.
As the Gardners careen toward disaster, they test the foundation of trust and respect that their family w
Dorry Lou
Mar 07, 2013 Dorry Lou rated it liked it
I am surprised I did not remember this book as I thought I had read all of LaVyrle Spencers books before she retired. Anyway, it was interesting how mistakes made always seem to catch up with you. When Kent Arens becomes a new student at the high school where Tom Gardner was principal it did not take him long to figure out Kent was his son, one that he never knew existed. Because Toms teenage daughter became interested in Kent, Tom was forced to admit to his family that Kent was his son. This ...more
Jun 12, 2013 Andrea rated it liked it
What would I do? An unknown child from my husband's past shows up out of the blue. I have no idea how I would react but I like to think I wouldn't become like Claire - bitter and melodramatic. There was an emotional shallowness for the remaining characters. The school spirit rally was not real at all; there is no way high schoolers are that friggin happy - ever. Thankfully there is a happy ending (a bit sappy for my tastes) that delivers the unconditional love guaranteed on the book's jacket.
Sep 25, 2010 Marianne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: trac
Simply, I enjoyed this read. Spencer always uses the glass is half full attitude and brings innocence to the writing. All you "see" are the kisses and then the privacy of the bedroom. It is refreshing that she paints and ideal situation. The conflict between these characters nearly destroys them, but - somewhat artificially but very satisfactorily - their mature and intelligent approach to their love life restores them. I'm not sure such "pure" people still exist, but I like how Spencer gives us ...more
Oct 08, 2013 Sallie rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-finished
I'm putting this in the 'read' pile only because I don't want it sitting in my 'currently reading' pile any longer. I tried again last night to get into this, but it just doesn't grab me, and I'm all ready irritated with them all. I guess it's time to move these books of my moms along to the used bookstore section for someone to find who will enjoy them. I take comfort in the fact that my mom never read my favorite author, or one of them, Jane Austen, nor did she like mysteries, which I love. ...more
Sep 03, 2010 LadyCalico rated it it was amazing
Wow, did I love this book! I almost deducted a star because the control-freak, drama-queen wife was so hard-to-take that it took a lot of pleasure out of the book, but then put it back when the Guidance Counselor and daughter unloaded on her. It was hard to believe that the husband could love someone like that so much, but I know people like her, and they still have someone who manages to love them a lot in spite of their faults--that's why it's called unconditional love. I definitely plan to ...more
Veronica Bareman
Eh.... It was an okay book, but a little dramatic for me. Claire, the female lead, aka wife, was a bit over the top.... So was the daughter, but then like mother, like daughter, I suppose... As a matter of fact, like father, like sons, too, because both boys were a little too in touch with their feelings and surprisingly mature and well-adjusted for high school boys. But then the male lead, aka husband, was also extremely in touch with his emotions. Certainly not my favorite read, but I powered ...more
Feb 04, 2013 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Received as a RABCK from bookstogive.

Principal Tom Gardner has new students in his school and one of them, Kent Arens, is the spitting image of a younger himself. It's a story of Tom's betrayal many years ago. His wife, Claire, is shocked and disheartened with the news that Kent is Tom's son. She cannot forgive her husband. Their daughter, Chelsea, and son, Robby, are thrown into the middle of this family disaster. It's a story of termoil and dealing with hurt feelings and scared feelings that
Jun 30, 2012 Bonnie rated it liked it
Everything is too…

I have mixed feelings about this book. It is the story of a family torn apart by an infidelity from the past.

Before the indiscretion comes to light, the family is portrayed too much like Donna Read’s TV family or “Leave it to Beaver”. The family was too gooey sweet. Too perfect… Then Claire, the mother, becomes a little too melodramatic when she finds out about the infidelity.

It is just an “okay” book but not as good as Spencer’s other books.
abi rafon
it was supposed to be a very nice and emotional story but i was disappointed really.

well, haven't someone heard the saying, " past is past?" it can no longer affect you now unless you let it, voluntarily. if ever, this kind of conflict happened in someone's marriage, just put in mind that its better your partner had cheated you before you were married and remain faithful from the day onwards than being cheated now.
Dec 04, 2015 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually finished this in one day. It was that good. It was a heartfelt, heartbreaking read and I wanted to shake some of the characters so they would regain some sense. A mistake that happened years ago before Claire and Tom got married threatens the very existence of their home and family. It takes alot of love and almost losing the years of happy memories and some outside intervention to shake this family back together.
It was okay. I forgot how descriptive her encounters were. Not a lot of sexual activity but she is good at describing things. The father figure was sometimes hard to believe. I think she gave her male characters too many female emotions. Other than that not a bad read. I would recommend it to someone who likes romance and little drama.
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about the book 1 18 Jul 21, 2009 04:52PM  
  • This Time Forever
  • Some Enchanted Season (Bethlehem, #2)
  • Tear Stained Beaches
  • Private Affairs
  • The Marriage War
  • Tangled Vines
  • The Torn Up Marriage
  • The Rake's Rainbow
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  • Together Alone
  • What Mattered Most
  • The Marriage Bed
  • My Lady Vixen
  • Once Upon A Scandal
  • The Coming Home Place
  • Another Dawn (Coleman Family Saga #2)
  • Aranmanoth
  • A Stranger's Wife
LaVyrle Spencer is an American best-selling author of contemporary and historical romance novels. She has successfully published a number of books, with several of them made into movies. Twelve of her books have been New York Times bestsellers, and Spencer was inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame in 1988.

Spencer is known for creating realistic characters and stories that focu
More about LaVyrle Spencer...

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“Yessir, it's a hard taskmaster, that guilt. I say, feel it, and wriggle a little bit if you have to, but then put it away. Get on with what you can change.” 2 likes
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