Historical Novel Society Editors’ Choice Book

The House on Tenafly Road

After his service in the Civil War, Sergeant John Weldon, haunted and nearly shattered by his experiences on and off the battlefield (which left him with lingering acute pain and a morphine addiction), makes his way to the picturesque new village of Englewood in New Jersey at the invitation of the spirited and welcoming McCullough family. He falls in love with the daughter of the house, fiercely intelligent and compassionate Kate, but he’s traumatized by the war and its aftereffects, and in the course of a long and very satisfyingly complex novel, Morris throws dozens of obstacles in the path of their relationship (including some extremely evocative flashbacks of Weldon’s war memories).

The various members of the McCullough family are portrayed with careful detail and some moments of unexpected humor, but it’s the tortured John Weldon who commands the book; his slow and halting search for personal redemption makes for mesmerizing reading. Recommended.

What is a family saga? I found this definition on Goodreads:

The family saga chronicles the lives and doings of a family or a number of related or interconnected families. The typical novel follows the generations of a family through a period of time to portray particular historical events, changes of social circumstances, or the ebb and flow of fortunes from a multiple of perspectives.

I like that. Don’t you? It’s fun to discover a friend’s perspective.

I write family sagas because I love people. I love their flaws. I love their dreams and deceptions. I feel sorry for us all yet happy to be alive.


I think I first fell in love with family sagas watching family drama at the many funerals of my youth.

As relatives bickered over property and rubbed old wounds raw, I listened with cousins to the adults fighting and laughing and fighting again between the morning and evening viewings of dead people.

My father reminded me each morning that we might not see each other again. As a police officer he knew more about sudden turns in life and death.

My mother was the keeper of old stories. Stories of poverty and of rowing the Hudson River on a stolen rowboat as a child with New York and its riches sparkling across the waves. She swam in the river until pollution warnings were posted on the beaches and the summer camps became winter homes for the poor.

I write this blog to celebrate who we all are, past and present, flawed and sublime.

Thank you for visiting.

Adrienne Morris writes family sagas about the Weldon and Crenshaw families of Gilded Age Englewood, New Jersey. Her first novel, The House on Tenafly Road was selected as an Editors’ Choice Book by The Historical Novel Society. HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY REVIEW

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Favorite Things:

  • Glory (1989)
  • Black Robe (1991)
  • The Rider (2017)
  • June Bug (2005)
  • Sweet Land (2005)
  • Anne of Green Gables (1985)
  • All Creatures Great and Small (2021)
  • Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (1993)
  • Winslow Homer
  • Garth Williams
  • Leonard Weisgard
  • Tasha Tudor
  • Thomas Eakins
  • Joan Walsh Anglund

132 responses to “ABOUT ADRIENNE”

  1. Hi there!,

    I am messaging you today as I would love to review your book on my blog: https://redheadedbookloverblog.wordpress.com/. Feel free to browse my blog and see if you would be interested in having your book featured there! If you would be interested then please do email me at redheadedbookloverblog@gmail.com (I hope you are because your book looks great!) and we can discuss it from there! I hope to hear from you soon.

    All best,
    Aimee Ann


  2. How did I never come across this page before? What a wonderful description of family and why you write. Most of us go on and on about what classes we took and our first writing award – you got right to the heart of your writing soul. So glad I finally read this, Adrienne.


    • Shari,

      Thank you so much for all of your supportive comments. I’m humbled by them. Your infusion of positive energy today came at such a good time.

      I was feeling a little down and you’ve cheered me up greatly! What one person can do for another always amazes me.



  3. Hi, Adrienne. Enjoyed learning more about you and your writing. I only wish I had had the foresight to talk to my grandmothers and mother about their experiences before they left us. I’ll just have to write about the little I do know and imagine the rest. Happy Writing! 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Adrienne, Happy I came across your blog! My WIP is historical fiction. A story about my connection with a long dead famous grandfather that I never met. A granddaughter’s search for secrets in his life he wanted buried with him. His dying words, “No one is to look into my life, that histiry dies with me.” Writing in this genre is so time consuming to connect history with the characters for story flow to avoid inf dumps. Slow go , but worth it. 📚🎶 Christine


    • That sounds like a fascinating project, C.E. It is true that historical fiction takes a long time but I love the research. At the moment I’m chomping at the bit to get started on my next book but know that I caan’t really get going until I research some crucial elements –and then real life intrudes on my research time. 🙂

      I don’t worry about info dumps until the final draft and then I do my best to slash them out. The best feeling is when you’ve saturated yourself so much with the period you’re in that the tidbits of research just naturally find their places.

      I love finding snippets of slang and such.

      What’s your favorite thing about writing?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, research is ongoing! Scenes relating to a historical time must be accurate. It’s exciting to discover the perfect fit. Example: My grandmother & Hitler were born in 1889. Writing scenes about anti-Semitism related to this was a huge discovery! Her parents were Nazis, and she was infatuated with him when he became a party leader in 1920. Grandmother had to accept her parents ideas about Jews. However, she married a Jew, and discovered the truth through her granddaughter’s research into his life. This set off great dialogue with history added between her granddaughter, and her fiancé, a German Jewish doctor. One favorite thing about writing! Discovery is one fav thing about writing! Another, learning from authors about writing. Plotting with Michael Hague’s Six Stage Plot Structure saved time to get the story set up, and it’s an excellent model for character-based stories! The info dumps are worrisome, but I’ll take your advice and hold off until the final draft. Makes sense! Thanks! 📚🎶Christine

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks so much for connecting with me after Derrick’s recommendation. I’ve started working on a novel based on my parents who were married in the mid 1950s. Maybe I could reach back and make it a family saga. But oh the research! Do I have enough years left? 😉 That won’t stop me trying.


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