by Barbara K. Richardson
This debut novel follows the unusual road two loners take toward home.
Can love close the distance?
Driving home from work on a summer afternoon, Melba Burns witnesses a nightmare collision. The wreck ends her pursuit of success at any cost—Melba parks her car, quits her job and stops driving. She retreats into her beloved old farmhouse, yearning for a simpler peace.
But peace and Melba’s new roommate, JoLee Garry, have never met. A shallow, self-absorbed stunner, JoLee magnetizes messes and trouble. She brings boyfriends, booze and a tag-along son with her—a series of unexpected guests who transform Melba’s solo life into something different, daring and richer.
This fast-paced, contemporary novel moves between Portland, Oregon and Atomic City, Idaho, the absolute center of nowhere. Guest House explores the grace that comes from daring to intervene in a stranger’s suffering. It will appeal to those who have forgotten the power that comes from living simply, and to anyone in their middle years whose life has been hijacked by love.
About the Author
Barbara Richardson earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University, where she studied with Ursula Hegi, Nance Van Winckel, and John Keeble. Her work has appeared in Northwest Review, Cimarron Review, Quarterly West, Spokane Woman, Rough Draft and Dialogue. She has taught prep school, sailed the Pacific in a 44-foot boat, managed an independent bookstore, and worked as a landscape designer. She lives in Salt Lake City. See the author’s website.
“The people living in Guest House are as particular and real—and flawed—as our neighbors, our friends, ourselves. In this remarkably generous novel Barbara Richardson chronicles not only the betrayals and sorrows of the human heart, but the love and hope and caring that heals it.”
— Molly Gloss, author of The Hearts of Horses
“Guest House beautifully exemplifies the 21st century maxim that we are not born into families, but choose those who mean the most to us.”
— Bruce Feld, co-author of The Givers and the Takers
“Melba Burns, the central character of Barbara Richardson’s powerful novel, is ignorant in only one respect–she has no idea how great her capacity for love is.”
—Harry Haun, author of The Cinematic Century