Homeland is the first in John Jakes series about the Crown family, a story of German-American immigrants from the 19th century. As the story opens, young Paul Crown barely escapes starvation to arrive in America where, he again, barely escapes starvation. Luckily for him, he has a wealthy American relative – Joe Crown. The elder Crown is a self-made man, emigrating himself as a youth and founding a beer empire in Chicago.
Jakes provides an interesting look at Chicago in the late 19th century. From the Temperance movement, the beginnings of trade unions and the Spanish-American War, the reader experiences much of the American political scene combined with a quick-paced, page-turning story that will keep you reading long after you know you should have gone to bed.
I love reading a good John Jakes novel. I would label him pop/historical fiction because of his broad appeal. Yes, he always seems to like happy ending, and sometimes the story is a bit predictable, but that doesn’t stop it from being entertaining.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1993