Why I picked Coming Home to Greenleigh
Coming Home to Greenleigh by Maya Rushing Walker (formerly known as Cassandra Austen) is American Literature and takes place in New England. The tone and content of this novel remind me of the author, Fannie Flagg’s work but with a northeastern setting instead of the southern states. Like my novels, Coming Home to Greenleigh is told from multiple points of view and deals with identity and life choices.
You can order it here directly from the author, and it’s also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and more.
Coming Home to Greenleigh by Maya Rushing Walker is a heart-warming work of American Fiction, including a fantastic cast of characters to root for and love.
While reading, one can’t help but be curious about all the characters, their backstories, and life choices. Who stayed in Greenleigh, and why? Who moves to Greenleigh, and why? And, especially in this first book, who comes back, and why? For those of you who have read one of my novels, Tiger Drive, or In the Doghouse, you know I’m a bit obsessed about what drives people to make changes, or not make changes, in their lives.
Maya’s writing is so smooth, warm, and heartfelt that it immediately pulled me into Beth’s life and the choices she faced. Born and raised in Greenleigh, Beth is a part of Greenleigh as much as Greenleigh is a part of Beth. Saddled with the cashless inheritance and burden of her old family house in need of costly repairs, Beth doesn’t want to give up on Greenleigh, but she has already sacrificed everything.
A small-town lawyer who is often paid by her clients via a barter system, Beth is cash-poor. Her water heater is about to blow, and her lifetime home is falling apart. She turns to a local law firm for some side work only to find out Shawn, the man she let get away, has come back for reasons of his own. It doesn’t take long for Shawn to realize he still loves Beth, and he is ready to slide back into his old shoes–one where he thinks he knows what is best for Beth.
But Beth has learned a lot since she last saw him, and she is tired of everyone telling her what’s best for her. Change is in the air for Beth, and when she meets a tattoo artist who shares her craving for change and adventure, Beth makes plans to leave Greenleigh, but Shawn, the community, and memories aren’t making it easy.
Greenleigh, a small town in northern New England, is as much a character in this book as the people. Each page includes nuances of the northeastern “Yankee” attitude and mannerisms (not to mention the heavy snow), bringing the community to life. Since Maya Rushing Walker lives in northeast New England, her shares are authentic and charming. I’ve always romanticized residing in the snowy northeast, and this novel makes me wish I could move to Greenleigh, have a cup of tea, and sit by a wood-burning stove while peeking out the window to watch the goings-on of “my” neighbors.
Coming Home to Greenleigh is a story about self-discovery, embracing change, and forgiveness. I’ll be thinking about Greenleigh and it’s residents for a long while. I want to know what happens to Gunnar. Why did Christine leave California–she definitely has a few secrets. And what hopes and dreams did Beth’s parents have when they were young and hopeful? My fingers are crossed that Ms. Rushing Walker isn’t finished writing about Greenleigh yet.
Fans of Fannie Flagg, American literature, and second chances will thoroughly enjoy this book.
If you read it at your leisure, feel free to comment below or email me if you’d rather keep your thoughts private: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy reading and thanks for being you.
Maya Rushing Walker writes slow-burn, often romantic, literary fiction set in both historical and modern times, with a strong sense of place. She lives and writes in a 1780s farmhouse in northern New England, where she homeschooled four amazing young adults and was a dedicated swim and row mom. In a previous life, she was a U.S. diplomat and a Wall Street banker, and holds a B.S. in international economics from Georgetown and an A.M. in East Asian Studies from Harvard.