Ginkgo Glen is a lighthearted story about the interactions of residents living in a fictional subdivision called Heavenly Heights. These rather odd neighbors come together little by little in response to an emergency and, as old dreams and secrets are shared, they exchange ginkgo trees as expressions of remembrance and friendship.
There was a cluster of homes just inside the western edge of town, built on a small rise of land. The area was called Heavenly Heights because of its slight elevation relative to the rest of the town, and because its developers at the time were nothing if not full of advertising savvy and entrepreneurial optimism. The houses were all three or four-bedroom, had one or two-stories, and were similar in design and construction. The lots on which they were built were also of a similar size, evenly spaced to curve along and around the area’s rise in elevation, and were joined by sidewalks and streets, as neighborhoods are. The pièce de résistance for each rooftop was a weathervane shaped like a cloud, with an arrow pointing vaguely toward heaven. All of the homes had been built and sold within a few years of each other, and all were currently owned by their original purchasers. Some neighborhoods have a reputation for being family-friendly and sport dozens of kids who play in the streets and grow up together. Some neighborhoods are transient and are home to legions of temporary residents who come, but mostly go. This neighborhood was defined not by its bland, cohesive appearance, but by its particular collection of residents who had somehow ended up on the same block at one point in time and had grown both older and more like themselves as time had gone by. It provided an ideal stage for the comedy and drama of human life to unfold. Let the curtain rise! (Page 3)
“In straightforward prose, Callen ably balances comedy and drama, never allowing the narrative to tip too far in one direction, and shows a light touch in her transitions. As a result, the characters’ stories all weave together nicely, and the author is able to work some surprises into what initially seems to be a simple narrative. The neighborhood feels lived-in and true to life, and Callen pays close attention to all of its—and its inhabitants’—quirks.” ~ Kirkus Reviews