BellflowerComing2019GLEN HANLEY is middle-aged, vain, and accustomed to appreciative looks from women. At a neighborhood birthday party, blinded by the gleaming cleavage of his wife’s PTA friend, he takes an unforeseen fork in the road.

TERRI MOORE spends her days pampering others at the spa where she works. After an unexpected divorce, she has forged a career and finished raising her two children. But everything comes crashing down when her son reveals a stunning secret.

MRS. HALLOWICZ grumbles through her solitary days, finding solace in maintaining her flowerbeds and caring for her pet turtle. But the pain of a long-buried tragedy threatens to unhinge her.

In scenes and stories that span the lifetimes of these three main characters, Mary Vensel White introduces the network of family and friends that connect them. On the shaky ground of California, foundations can shift at any moment. What is life, if not recovering from the unexpected? Bellflower is a novel about the mysteries of fate and chance, the delicate balance of relationships, and the resilient human spirit that keeps us striving to complete our own stories, in our own way.


“A haunting and provocative debut.”FINAL QualitiesOfWood pb c ~ Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

“Slowly a small town’s secrets come to light in a story that skits a fine line between mystery and psychological suspense.” ~ Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“An ominous and psychological novel that manages both artful prose and an eerie plot.” ~ Linnie Greene, Flyleaf Books

The Qualities of Wood grabbed me right away and held me in its thrall until the final page. The writing is tensely crafted and beautifully precise.”     ~ Wendy Lawless, author of Chanel Bonfire

“How little we know our loved ones until faced with their families, both living and dead… Mary Vensel White has packed a hornets’ nest of intrigue in The Qualities of Wood.”         ~ Leslie Lehr, author of What a Mother Knows