When Clay Spencer fails to arrive home at the expected hour on Christmas Eve of 1933, his family grows concerned. While his seven brothers and sisters and his mother keep vigil the older son, Clay-boy, goes in search of his father. But on his journey through the snowbound Virginia hills, the boy experiences a series of hazardous, touching and hilarious adventures. [via]
His life is endangered by an enraged deer, the family's honor is threatened by a well-meaning outsider, and unexpected help is provided by the fearsome county sheriff. An encounter with the neighborhood Negro community church teaches Clay-boy a lesson in race relations and, while taking refuge from a snowstorm, he is overwhelmed by the intoxicating hospitality of two elderly genteel lady bootleggers.
Finally, at midnight, when all hope for him has been abandoned, Clay Spencer provides a surprising climax to the story, and in a single moment illuminates the triumph of the human spirit. Rich with life that rings true, filled with nostalgia, laughter and tears, The Homecoming is a warm and wonderful classic of American literature.