Author: Barbara K. Richardson
ISBN:  978-0-9819577-1-5
Publisher:  Bay Tree Publishing, LLC

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This book is about characters that are not perfect.  Each character having their own issues and without knowing it, seeming to take on one another’s issues throughout the book.   Melba, the main character witnesses a car hitting a bicycle rider on a summer afternoon.  The bicycle rider dies in her arms. She decides she no longer wants to drive a car.   She ends up quitting her job and becoming happy with a simple she thinks.  The book introduces you to characters that come into Melba’s life and transform her new found simple life into something more complicated. Melba’s kind heart meets a woman that is having a rough period and JoLee becomes a boarder in Melba’s house.  That is when Melba learns to grow as a person and deal with her own demons.  Melba learns to speak for herself instead of living vicariously through others.

Barbara Richardson’s comments on her book:  Guest House--my new novel--brings together kids I have taught, cities I have loved, women I've admired and the ongoing motivation to see, honor and make good homes for neglected children. I don't know why this theme motivates me so deeply. It arrived after graduate school. Yes, I survived an MFA program. No one can teach you to speak for yourself, from your core. Experience can, and reading great writers' books.

Atomic City Idaho, population 24, adds real juice to the novel. My nephew grew up there shooting pool and mixing drinks in the Twin Buttes Bar. He learned to drive a stick shift and skin rattlesnakes at age 13. This remarkable part of my family history stuck like cheatgrass in my imagination. I've traveled to Atomic City twice to research Guest House. I felt I had never breathed so freely. Do all writers love the middle of nowhere? I can't say, but I do.

The author spent a great deal time with the story line, all the details, and the intricacies of the characters, which was wonderful but I was surprised at the ending and felt like it was abrupt.  I kept looking to see if a page was missing from the book.  It left me with a quest to create a nicer and less abrupt ending.

After reading the author’s comments on Amazon, which I have printed above, I understood the motivation of writing the book much better and where the character of Matt, the child in the story, developed.

I agree with other reviewer’s opinions that the book is addicting after the first few chapters and I too couldn’t help thinking about the characters long after I had finished the book.

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