Tag Archive for: #atmosphere

Home, Sweet Home by Saralyn Richard

Home, Sweet Home

by Saralyn Richard

I live on an island, and there’s a saying around here that when you cross the causeway coming into the island, you leave all your troubles behind. The saying must be true, because everyone I know says they experience something truly spiritual whenever they drive into town. It happens to me every time—a lightening of the mood, a warming of the heart, and sometimes, a tear in the eye.

Home is more than a place. It’s an atmosphere, an attitude, a group of people whom you love and who love you back, an album full of memories.

I left my island home many years ago, but the connection remained strong. I moved back in 2005, back to the house I grew up in. Not many people are lucky enough to do this, but I was, and I’m so grateful.

Here in this house, I sat at the kitchen table with my entire nuclear family, had girlfriends spend the night, was picked up for my first and subsequent dates, brought my husband-to-be home to meet my family.

The house and I have been through celebrations and tragedies. I know its every cranny, every pebble in its concrete, every branch of its trees.

No wonder, then, that the homes in my novels are practically characters, especially the estates in the Detective Parrott mystery series, located in Brandywine Valley. Bucolia, Manderley, Sweetgrass, and Moonglow—each with its own special characteristics—serve as places, but also figure into the books’ plots. Secrets abound within their walls.

What connotations of home have you found in some of your favorite books? How did the author breathe life into the homes in those books?


Saralyn Richard writes award-winning humor- and romance-tinged mysteries that pull back the curtain on people in settings as diverse as elite country manor houses and disadvantaged urban high schools. Her works include the Detective Parrott mystery series, two standalone mysteries, a children’s book, and various short stories published in anthologies. She also edited the nonfiction book, Burn Survivors. An active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Saralyn teaches creative writing and literature. Her favorite thing about being an author is interacting with readers like you. If you would like to subscribe to Saralyn’s monthly newsletter and receive information, giveaways, opportunities, surveys, freebies, and more, sign up at https://saralynrichard.com.