Set in 1950, Home Sweet Home is an epic drama that follows the Kusek family from New York City to the heartland, where they are caught up in the panic of McCarthyism, a smear campaign, a sensational trial, and ultimately, murder. It was inspired by true events.
Calvin Kusek, a WWII pilot and attorney, and his wife, Betsy, a visiting nurse, relocate to a close-knit town in South Dakota where they become cattle ranchers. Their children, Jo and her brother, Lance, grow up caring for animals and riding rodeo. But when Cal runs for political office, the FBI investigates Betsy, and a youthful dalliance with the Communist Party surfaces. Mass hysteria takes over, inflamed by Cal’s political enemies, and the nightmare begins.
Home Sweet Home takes you into the tender heart of a family under siege. Eerily prescient of the fear and distrust we face today, I think you’re in for a memorable ride.
“Smith’s second historical novel delves into the McCarthy era and how one family is swept up in its fanaticism…She perceptively brings this dark period in U.S. history to light in her dramatic family saga.” —Deborah Donovan, Booklist (starred)
“In Smith’s terrific new novel. . . .she illuminates the force of McCarthyism-generated fear in the Midwest and effectively personalizes it through the persecution the Kusak family endures for their liberal beliefs. The author also skillfully ties together the two time periods, avoiding melodrama.”—Publishers Weekly (starred)