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.



Visit my farm blog  MIDDLEMAY FARM

20 responses to “The Farm”

      • I was thinking about the rain earlier. It has been one of those days where I am. Sometimes things that restore balance have to upset the balance a little bit.


      • My husband’s company had to cut 10% of its workforce last week and my husband was a new kid on the block so he lost his job. We both have a sense that God is at work and that we’ll be okay. In the past we’d rush into any crappy job right away. My husband is a highly qualified engineer so things aren’t hopeless but my natural tendency would be to run to the nearest back-breaking job or mind numbingly dull one. I’m not doing that this time. I’m thinking I know I’m a novelist and the job I will take if I have to will nurture me, not grind me down. My husband is into spiritual fasting–I find it intriguing but I’m a real jerk without food 🙂

        Have a great weekend, Sandra!


        Liked by 1 person

    • We just came in from castrating the little rams. LOL. The ugly side of homesteading. But they are all adorable. I was seriously considering the vegan lifestyle again but lamb is good. At least I know our animals are happy and loved until the final day of life…


  1. Beautiful pictures. I would love to live on a farm. Been vegetarian for many years and moving toward being vegan. I’m glad your animals are happy and loved. Wish all farms were like that.


    • I used to be a vegetarian and then briefly a vegan not for health reasons but because I read a ton of books and watched movies on animal cruelty. But then I got really sick and nearly died and only animal protein seemed to help me recover, yet I still hate that no matter what path we are on we have to hurt things. I just read that with the latest coconut craze comes environmental damage. Ugh. So complicated. i just try to give my animals the best life they can have with only one bad moment before they die. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “I wonder if there ever is a time when everything is in harmony. Weeds fight with plants. Hawks hunt down mice and I still get mad if it rains too much” But this IS harmony. The weeds don’t “fight” with plants; they co-exist-each doing what the grand artist-Mother Nature has designed them to do. Same with the hawk and the mice; they (daily) play out their roles-in a harmonies way to balance the number of rodents. As for the rain; for whom is it “too much;” you, your vegetables, the trees, the mountains, the rivers, the ocean or the planet-at large? The rain is always the correct amount, as is the snow, the heat and the cold….we just can’t always see that-at the time or from our microscopic view. But when we look at the entirety: the planet-(aside from what man is doing to it) it’s Perfect; because it gets and gives the exact amount of Everything needed.


    • But man is a part of the natural world. His nature cannot be outside of the world. he is not alien to it so even his/her violent or maybe stupid nature is part of the harmony then. We can’t blame humans any more than we can blame rain or hawks for anything. The only way any of this makes sense to me is that we were created with a unique consciousness by a creator who wants us to learn something. Maybe hawks are learning things too. I don’t know.

      But I do get what you’re saying though. A lot of what may look like chaos to me is just the circle of life. The animals I raise do battle and have pecking orders. They kill each other in ways that seem very unkind to me. Pain is real. I’ve also witnessed animals being very destructive as well.

      I think what I was getting at is the pain that is part of this natural world. And my inability to be at peace with it no matter how natural it is.


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