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Bowling Avenue
     

Bowling Avenue

4.4 13
by Ann Shayne
 

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Welcome to 603 Bowling Avenue, a lush, empty Colonial Revival house tucked away in a leafy Nashville neighborhood. Who's that in the ratty attic bedroom, holed up like a squirrel, writing real estate ads as fast as she can?

Delia Ballenger, former Nashvillian. She's back in town to sell the house that her tender-hearted big sister inexplicably left her after dying

Overview

Welcome to 603 Bowling Avenue, a lush, empty Colonial Revival house tucked away in a leafy Nashville neighborhood. Who's that in the ratty attic bedroom, holed up like a squirrel, writing real estate ads as fast as she can?

Delia Ballenger, former Nashvillian. She's back in town to sell the house that her tender-hearted big sister inexplicably left her after dying in a car crash. Delia would like to get back to Chicago as fast as possible. However, uninvited people keep showing up at the front door:

Her mother, Grace Ballenger. Brilliant federal judge and the number-one reason Delia lives in another state.

A patrician neighbor, Angus Donald.

Ethan Hardy, rotund country music superstar.

Shelly Carpenter, watchful housekeeper.

Brother-in-law Bennett Schwartz, a wretched surgeon, along with his girls Cassie and Amelia-the nieces she's never known.

And, most vexing, a charming real estate agent, Henry Peek. Noble? Or not?

Delia finds herself up to her eyeballs in a flood of delayed reactions, secrets, and the sort of love that sneaks up on you. For everyone who has muttered "You can't go home again," here's what happens when you go anyway. You'll laugh. You may cry, if you're the weepy type. And you'll cheer for Delia even as you wonder how she can eat a Pop-Tart as an entree. Like The Descendants, Bowling Avenue is a story of learning how to let go, hold on-and bail water.

Editorial Reviews

Ann Hood
I just spent a rainy morning at my local cafe reading BOWLING AVENUE. Family secrets, grown up crushes, a mysterious neighbor, and even knitting. Like Lolly Winston's GOOD GRIEF, Ann Shayne has found laughter and joy in even the darkest moments. I highly recommend it to anybody who wants to escape gray skies and gloom, of the literal and metaphoric types.
Anne Bartlett
Bowling Avenue kept me reading into the wee morning hours, long after it was sensible. This warm and funny story is told through the voice of Delia Ballenger, returning to Nashville to sell the house she has surprisingly inherited from her sister. As the family try to sort themselves out after Ginna’s death, they face another crisis that washes all their facades away. Delia has inherited much more than a house—if only she can receive it. Start reading at bedtime. I dare you…

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780985210007
Publisher:
Chenille Press
Publication date:
05/28/2012
Pages:
268
Sales rank:
1,371,283
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Ann Shayne lives in Nashville with her husband and two sons. She is the co-author, with Kay Gardiner, of Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitter's Guide and Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. Their blog, Mason-Dixon Knitting, has persevered since 2003 despite constant begging for them to shut up.

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Bowling Avenue 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do so hope Anne is writing more books. This was an enjoyable read with real-life characters and emotions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
realistic characters with realistic problems. I had no trouble picking up this book frequently to the very end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delia Ballenger is returning to Nashville to sell her dead sister’s house. She thought she’d successfully settled herself in another city, a safe distance from her family and her unhappy past, but she’s about to learn that the past is like an undiscovered country, waiting to surprise you. Bowling Avenue is crazily, utterly delightful, a fun and funny read that will keep you happily off-balance and turning the pages for more. Like Delia, you’ll find yourself wondering how you came to be in this strangely crackpot place surrounded by these curious characters, but you’ll be oh-so glad that you found your way there. The novel is populated by characters that are absolute gems. They appear in the story like icebergs; the ten-percent we see when they drift into view is their presentable face, their public persona. The other ninety percent emerges slowly, layer by layer, as we get to know each character’s hidden secret or shame. There is the dreamboat boyfriend who, it turns out, is the opposite of a dreamboat, with a complicated, heartbreaking past and an uncertain future. The mother who laced herself into a certain kind of life thirty years ago and is only starting to see that she might’ve been meant for something else entirely. The dead sister who, it turned out, was a bit of an enigma to the people who thought they knew her best. Nashville figures as prominently in the story as any of its characters, but readers who are strangers to the city shouldn’t worry that they’ll feel like party-crashers. Within pages, you’ll feel like one of the houseguests in the story: chauffeured around the real Nashville of neighborhoods and families, not the Nashville of the music business. You get a sense of what really matters to the denizens of Nashville, not just what tourists come to see. A great story, wonderfully told. It draws you in immediately, like meeting someone you hope will become a lifelong friend. If you are looking for a tender, warm and witty near-perfect read, this is it.
jeknit More than 1 year ago
For knitters Ann Shayne is an author, knitting maven and blogger (or co-blogger) of Mason-Dixon duo. In this delightful romp through Nashville's recent history (the setting is during their recent flood) the reader is introduced to a troupe of characters who both end up cohabiting a flood-beseiged home and worming their way into your heart. Even the unlikeable ones grow on you. The plot is not deep and does not interfere with your reading. The tone is often tongue firmly in cheek, quite witty. Be prepared to laugh our loud. This is a perfect choice for a few hours in a lawn chair, iced tea firmly in hand.
Colorfulknitter More than 1 year ago
Ann's sense of humor as evident in the Mason-Dixon Knitting Blog is a treasure in this book. I could hear the southern cadences in the speech of the character of Shelly. The dark days of life are lived, more than endured, in this poignant and thought provoking story. Northerners and world travelers are also well represented. This is a book for thoughtful novel readers who may or may not be knitters.
LN38 More than 1 year ago
Good character development, great read, did not want it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! I can't wait for other books by this author. From the very first page I was drawn into the lives of the characters and felt like I was there with them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down, I was drawn right into the characters and Nashville! Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book. Loved it!
tessNY More than 1 year ago
This book observes the members of a family in Nashville, and their friends and acquaintances, as they respond to a particularly challenging week. It is filled with distinct and distinctive characters, all of whom are so realistic that I feel as though I might see them at the bank tomorrow - and would recognize them! The author writes with clarity and quiet charm, not in any kind of showy "look at me" way, but with the gentle propulsion of a good storyteller who gives just the right details. I enjoyed it very much, and look forward to more books by this author.