When Will Papa Get Home?

A Story of Hope

This poignant historical novel takes you to the high plains of southeastern Colorado, where a Mexican-American girl grows up knowing that her father has been imprisoned for ten years for something he didn’t do.

In When Will Papa Get Home?, Maria is taken back to her childhood home when she comes across a blue marble in her jewelry box. She remembers herself as an eight-year-old girl playing with the marble while waiting for her father to return to the rock-and-adobe homestead house her family had built with their own hands.

Based on the tale of “the Philly Place” that author Larada Horner-Miller has heard her whole life, this novel imagines the life of the person who might have left that very same blue marble behind, to be discovered by Horner-Miller while exploring her family ranch many decades later.

Through the fictitious daughter of a man named Philadelphia Gonzales, this novel relates the experiences of a Mexican-American community struggling to live the American dream while surrounded by often-hostile Anglos. Yet, amid the prejudice and injustice are many who are kind and welcoming. These characters, along with Maria’s own determination and personal growth, create an inspiring, uplifting tale.


Nice Read:  Stories our families tell us about their past reach a deep place in our hearts. This story is wonderful. We don't get to live on raches or in the wilderness. We don' t get to appreciate the magic of a lonely little girl making friends with a horny toad. But Larada is able to take us to these places and she does it with the warmth you feel when Harold's arms encircle Elva.

Great Read: It is a story of hope! A great read for all ages. Highly recommended.

Glimpse into a family's trials ( Southwest in 1920 & 30's):  A nostalgic tale of hardship and injustice, but unending family love, courage and determination. Could not stop reading - kept checking out the pictures and enjoyed being there. Feelings of heartbreak and happiness.


Enthralling!! Intriguing!: I couldn't put it down. Such a story of love, of injustice. You will need a hanky for sure. The pictures add a really good touch to make you see and feel what the homestead was like. Keep up the good work Larada.



Profile Photo Larada Horner-Miller

About Larada Horner-Miller

Larada Horner-Miller gained a BA in English, with a minor in Spanish and a concentration in education, and a MEd in integrating technology in the curriculum. She is now retired after a twenty-seven-year career teaching middle school.

She co-owns and manages a ranch in southeastern Colorado with her brother that contains “the Philly Place.” Her imagination was sparked after she found a marble while exploring this old homestead on her family ranch.

She is the author of This Tumbleweed Landed; From Grannie's Kitchen Cookbook, Volume 1; and Let Me Tell You a Story, and the coauthor of Branson-Trinchera Historic Photos with Tom Cummins and Building Capacity with the Common Core State Standards for ELA-Literacy with Karen White.

She and her husband Lin live in the mountains above Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the village of Tijeras. She enjoys dancing, traveling, knitting, and reading.

All books by Larada Horner-Miller

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