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Nowhere But Home

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,229 ratings  ·  501 reviews
A brilliant, hilarious, and touching story with a Texas twist from Liza Palmer, author of Conversations With The Fat Girl (optioned for HBO)

Queenie Wake, a country girl from North Star, Texas, has just been fired from her job as a chef for not allowing a customer to use ketchup. Again. Now the only place she has to go is home to North Star. She can hope, maybe things will
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,229 ratings  ·  501 reviews

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Susan's Reviews
A really enjoyable read. Loved the strong female characters who had nowhere to go but up - if only the people of their small town would let them! Pigeon-holed by the Wake family's scandalous reputation and past misdeeds, Queenie and Merry Carole Wake can never seem to prove to the narrow-minded townsfolk of North Star that they are not the drunken homewrecker their mother had been.

Heartbroken, Queenie leaves North Star for a career as a chef when the love of her life, Wes McKay, bows to family
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'll confess that I nearly quit reading this book several times. The main reason? The writing. The dialogue was often stilted and I felt like the author did a lot of telling me things instead of showing me. Because of the thin writing, the characters were a little flat. And one of the central relationships? I never felt their connection because they didn't spend enough time together in the book for me to see any of this supposed passion and chemistry.

So why did I keep reading? I wasn't even real
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed here @ Angieville

I have come to look forward to the latest Liza Palmer book with a vigorous sort of yearning. I discovered her through the hilarious and thoughtful Seeing Me Naked, and I did not look back. I've loved each of Palmer's previous four novels, but this one . . . I think this one is my favorite. It's certainly the one I had the most trouble letting go of, both when I had to stop reading to deal with some real life matter and when I finished the final satisfying pag
Jun 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015
I usually like Liza Palmer's books but this one just didn't work for me. Started off ok but as the story went on I found myself getting annoyed with the characters. They were suppose to be in their 30's but acted like immature middle schoolers. I just can't believe that grown adults would behave like they did in this book. I know there are a lot of catty bitchy women in the world but these people were just ridiculous! I didn't care for the "romance" bit either. Just kind of lame, in my opinion. ...more
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: FNL Fans
Recommended to Sarah by: Angie
Update: I finally wrote an actual review of this fabulous book:

Love, love, love. This is going to definitely be one of my favorites of 2013. It's aching in the best of ways, and perfect for anyone who has a complicated relationship with their roots. I'll write a longer review on the blog, but Nowhere But Home ticked so many boxes for me, and I adored it so, so, so much. Basically, this is such a "Sarah Book" and I'll be reading the author's backlist ASAP.
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-ebook
This book hooked me from the opening sentence, “My mother was an unwed teenager from the Texas Hill Country.” The Texas Hill Country you say?!? The Texas Hill Country is a stone’s throw away from where I live. The setting is in the imaginary town of North Star, but the author captured the region so well. I could relate to many things in the book: humidity, family, atmosphere, football, food and culture!! Ok, so this book isn’t only about the great things in Texas, which is a great state by the w ...more
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
FIRST THOUGHTS: I've finally read a Liza Palmer book, and she certainly deserves ALL OF THE PRAISE. Splendid characters, real setting, compelling tale - she's completely wow-ed me. Need. More. Now.


(Originally posted on Alexa Loves Books)

Nowhere But Home is a beautiful piece of literature. It captures a setting, a tone, a story so profoundly moving, yet so well-honed in simplicity and restraint. There are no extra bells and whistles here, but just the plain and simple truths of life in a s
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nowhere But Home is the quintessential comfort read and I devoured it in one sitting on this rainy afternoon. Liza Palmer is an author I've had my eye on for awhile but I never seem to have caught hold of her books. As such, when I saw both this and Seeing Me Naked on the shelves of my library earlier this morning, I grabbed them. And I'm so glad I did.

Palmer writes of family, hope, and love. Nowhere But Home is a distinctly character-driven novel, following Queenie Wake as she returns to her s
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars: A delightful tale that proves sometimes you can go back home.

Queenie Wake has spent the last ten years bouncing from job to job. Never settling down anywhere, never fitting in. She is currently in New York, but her employment abruptly ends after she fights with a patron over putting ketchup on his eggs. Now she is once again out of work, with nowhere to go and no place to live. She decides it is time to go back home to Lone Star, Texas to visit her sister, despite the fact
Nasty Lady MJ
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
To see review with gif click here.

Liza Palmer’s book Seeing Me Naked is one of my favorite books of all time. I’ve been meaning to check out her backlist for awhile and picked up Nowhere But Home on a whim.

The result.


The writing itself is enjoyable and as readable as ever. Palmer knows how to make a book readable that in itself gave the book a huge plus.

On the downside though, the story itself is extremely trite. I could predict almost everything that was going to happen before it did. And
Bonnie-Anne Carmichael (Love Triangles Are Fucking Stupid.)
DNF page 114

Never in all my years of reading have I come across a male love interest (I’m not calling this piece of shit bawbag a hero) quite as disgusting and pathetic as this prick. He is the absolute worst I’ve read and I’ve come across some bastards.

And the heroine????? The biggest doormat in existence. She learns that the man who married another girl instead of her is divorced and her first thought is “oh YAY maybe I can be his dirty little secret again if he still wants me?” Girl…get a fu
Lucie Simone
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since I've read a book that had me sobbing like a baby in the middle of the night, unable to tear myself away from the pages. But that's what happened with Liza Palmer's Nowhere But Home. Liza is one of my favorite authors, so I had no doubt that she would deliver a stellar read. But wow, I wasn't expecting it to hit so close to...well, home. Palmer's writing is so subtle yet digs so deep. Written in first person present tense, Palmer takes the reader into the world of Nort ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2013
Originally posted here.

I have been meaning to read another Liza Palmer novel ever since Seeing Me Naked surprised me by how good it was. So many other titles have distracted me and I wasn’t able to get back to her writing until I recently picked up Nowhere But Home. I was feeling a little homesick and thought it would be a good idea to read a book about coming home. I found it funny that the main character is named Queen Elizabeth because this isn’t the first time that I’ve heard of someone
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've talked about this before, but every summer my entire family goes on vacation, and the object is to relax on the beach for an entire week. For us, that inevitably means reading*, and we usually take stacks of books in which to indulge. Because we're all together, we often end up passing favorites around, and I have fond memories of many years of shared reads. This year, I made the executive decision that my mom and sisters, Allison and Christine, and I were all going to read Nowhere But Home ...more
May 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Probably the one word that would describe how I feel about this book is disappointment. After all the glowing, glowing reviews I expected to love it. But I just felt sad.

Sad that the main character was such an idiot. Seriously, I know that chronological age has nothing to do with maturity, but really? This woman is (a much hyped) 31 years old and she's just now figuring out that other people feel things too? She's just now thinking that other people feel deeply, and perhaps differently than she
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Queenie has no where to finally goes home.

My thoughts after reading this book...

I thought this book was delightful, heart warming and insightful...Queenie...a chef...gets fired from practically all of her chef jobs...her cooking is great but she can't stop telling people how they should eat. Catsup with eggs? That's a definitive no in Queenie's world so she gets fired again and again and again. So...she finally goes North Star, Texas. Home to her sister, her nephew, her l
Jan 28, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

I liked this book quite a bit more than the first book I read by this author. I liked the relationship between Queenie and her sister, Merry Carol. I enjoyed the quips between two that understand each other regardless of the fact they haven't seen much of each other for the past few years. I didn't find that unbelievable. Sisters and very old friends are like that. I liked the relationship between Queenie and her nephew and between her nephew and his blood half brother. I didn't care mu
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
I can't believe William Morrow/Harper Collins published this daring novel. I've read and enjoyed all of Liza Palmer's work but this Bad Girl Returns Home story really pushes the envelope. A heroine who finds her truth and realizes where she belongs while cooking last meals for prisoners on death row? Seriously? But it works. Queenie, her sister Merry Carole, and nephew Cal are such wounded but wonderful characters that you feel their pain and share their triumphs. Small town Texas life is presen ...more
Moon Love
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic! I started reading it at 1 am when I bought it thinking, "I'll read the first chapter just so I'll be psyched about reading the rest tomorrow." Ninety minutes later and 24% later, I had to force myself to sleep because I knew if I stayed up until 4 or 5 am finishing the book I'd be a zombie the next day.

To say I devoured this book is an understatement. I finished the book and was left wanting more. It's a beautiful story that raised a lot of questions while and after I wa
May 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
I was really excited to read this book, it sounded like it could be great. What started out as a quirky and charming story quickly turned preachy and annoying. I didn't connect with the main character, Queenie, so right off the bat that's not good. The interesting characters became cliche very quickly, and Queenie's sense of humor and witty way with words just got on my nerves after a while, because she never really went anywhere. I kept waiting for the 'big twist' to come and surprise me but th ...more
So, so good.
I have to laugh because my library put a "love" sticker on it, like many do for romance novels. Romantic love is only one small piece of the different kinds of love this book has. There's also love of home, love of family, and love of self. I've never had any of the experiences Queenie has lived through and yet there are so many things in the book that speak to me. Highly recommended.
Jennifer C
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-read
What a heart-warming book. I feel honored having shared Queenie's journey with her. People can tell us thing all the want, but until we feel it for ourselves, until we are willing to let ourselves hear the message, we won't. Queenie's journey is a story of just that. Beautifully written. ...more
Jennifer Sommersby
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will read the Yellow Pages if they hire Liza Palmer to write it ...

I'm a writer. And a freelance editor. Finding books that grab my attention and really, really bite down is tough -- I'm sure many bibliophiles understand this sentiment all too well. So many books, so little time! I saw Liza Palmer last year at the Surrey International Writers Conference -- she gave a keynote speech that reduced me to tears because SHE WAS SPEAKING RIGHT TO ME, I SWEAR (Velveteen Rabbit forever!). I left the c
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Liza Palmer’s Nowhere But Home is an entertaining story I couldn’t put down, even when I eventually wanted to smack Queenie in the head for being such a numbskull. As much about the roles and expectations of family as it is about accepting love, Palmer’s novel is layered and compelling.

As our star of North Star (sorry, that was cheesy), Queenie is the youngest child of a notorious town harlot who met an untimely end years before. Long shadowed by her mother’s seedy life and dramatic death, Queen
The hype for this book is simply overwhelming. The blogosphere universally adores Liza Palmer and Nowhere But Home, even Goodreads was pushing this on me at every possible chance. And, it turns out, not without good reason. Though not my typical reading, this book is simply adorable and happy-making in every way. I didn’t wholeheartedly adore this, but it was a close call.

In a sentence, this book is about homecoming and making peace with the past. Protagonist Queenie Wake ran away from her home
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Well, this was different. Queenie (Queen Elizabeth)ran away from her hometown and her past 20 years ago. Her mother- notorious in town for her wild ways- was killed by her own best friend for having an affair with the friend's husband, leaving Queenie and her sister to live with the town's contempt, and Queenie's "soul mate" and the love of her life dumped her to marry another girl because his father told him to.

Now she is a chef who is fired from every job she gets, doesn't fit in anywhere she
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Nowhere But Home is a wonderful book. It's a well written and very heartwarming story. Queenie Wake has been running for ten years. Running from a town who sees her as no better than her mother, the love of her life, and really from herself. Now she is coming back home to figure things out. What I loved about this book is that it was such and honest look at the past and how it can affect who we are in this moment and who we become in the future.

As Queenie learns, the only way to look forward an
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
2-3 stars
I found the characters kind of pathetic and a majority of the plot cliche. A few aspects were interesting: an absent and emotionally abusive mother murdered, Queenie making last meals... but overall I just didn't get why they didn't move away from north star together. if everett knew Queenie left and was divorced why didn't he reach out? How could Queenie not move on at all from Everett in 15 years being away?? So Cal doesn't get any recognition from his father?
I guess the whole small t
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How could I not love a book that combines personal growth, romance Liza Palmer is a new author to me, but I was blown away by her ability to make me care so much about her very human, very flawed characters and root for them to find their path. Funny, beautiful, and real.... I'll be looking for more by Ms. Palmer. ...more
Brooke Moss
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can't write a coherent review right now. This book was too good, to heart wrenching, to touching, to amazing to condense into a short review. It should be sufficient for me to say: Buy this book now. It is worth every cent, and then some. You'll thank me. I promise you that. ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 22, 2015 11:23AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer 2 10 Feb 25, 2015 06:38PM  
Sisterhood of the...: Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer 51 26 Jul 29, 2013 06:52PM  

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Liza Palmer is the internationally bestselling author of Conversations with the Fat Girl , which has been optioned for series by HBO.

Library Journal said Palmer’s “blend of humor and sadness is realistic and gripping,..”

After earning two Emmy nominations writing for the first season of VH1’s Pop Up Video, she now knows far too much about Fergie.

Palmer’s fifth novel, Nowhere but Home, is about a f

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