A Burning in Homeland : When a fire engulfs the church parsonage, Shiny Parker, a guileless seven-year-old boy prone to adult-sized anxiety attacks, senses that life in the quiet town of Homeland, Florida, has changed forever. With their home destroyed and Pastor Ned hospitalized with severe burns, the pastor's beautiful wife Mavis and daughter Sharon Rose have moved in with the Parkers, much to Shiny's dismay. Sweet, shy, and chronically ill-at-ease, Shiny spends his days obsessing over the instability that attends these new conditions -- and enduring the torments of Sharon Rose, who has told Shiny he's gotten her pregnant by walking in on her while she was taking a bath.<P>When Shiny stumbles upon a cache of twenty-year-old love letters written by Mavis to a man in prison named Halley Martin, he opens a window onto a past teeming with uncontrollable passions, long-buried secrets, and brutal violence. Here, in the tangled saga of Mavis, Pastor Ned, and the mysterious, long-suffering Halley, A Burning in Homeland delivers a mesmerizing story of thwarted love and dark betrayal, of ambiguous memories and furious vengeance.<P>Alternating among a trio of first-person narrators -- Shiny, Mavis, and Halley -- Richard Yancey works on an epic canvas, rendering a Southern landscape bursting with larger-than-life passions and lush atmospherics. At once starkly haunting and exquisitely romantic, ambitious in both depth and scope, A Burning in Homeland is a dazzling first novel.