Bowling Avenue

By Ann Shayne


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 Ballenger even as you wonder how she can eat a Pop-Tart as an entree. Bowling Avenue is a novel of learning how to let go, hold on—and bail water.


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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 in a car crash. Delia needs to get back to Chicago as fast as possible. But 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 and poorly socialized neighbor, Angus Donald.
  • Shelly Carpenter, the watchful housekeeper who raised Delia.
  • 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.

Delia finds herself up to her eyeballs in a flood of mysteries, secrets, and the sort of love that sneaks up on you.