The Endling

When a writing colleague wrote me about Dr. Deborah Maxey‘s debut novel The Endling. I investigated and, intrigued, asked for an advance copy to review.

Am I ever glad I did. I couldn’t have anticipated this story. Neither will you. But then, when a writer and PhD psychotherapist from the Blue Ridge Mountains melds her lifelong proximity to Native American culture, knowledge of the natural world, and experience counseling hurting children, how could her narrative be anything but unusual?

Here’s the gist: After Emerson Coffee’s Native grandfather dies, she’s the endling—the last of her uncertain lineage, returned from a stint in New York City to live alone in Virginia mountains deeded to her by her deceased mother. A terrifying NY threat follows her home, endangering her life and the lives of those she cherishes. Mountain and city cultures collide as Emerson creatively employs both her grandfather’s wisdom and truth revealed in nature to intercept the peril.

Caution: don’t read this book expecting a story of indigenous Native experience. It’s not.

Instead, you’ll find a coming-of-age account of a wounded, fearful, isolated young woman who, because of her Christian grandfather’s loving mentorship (and her community’s support), taps that inner equipping and transforms into a resilient woman of courage and empathy.

Of course I loved how the natural world played a huge role in all of it. Loved the transformative impact family, adopted or biological, had on Emerson. Loved how she responded to Truth’s nudges instead of to fear.

The book’s unique. Suspenseful. Well-written, with engaging characters. Full of food for the soul. I read it in two sittings, and didn’t look up during either of them.

Add The Endling to your summer reads and be nourished and inspired as you ingest it. It releases May 11, but you can preorder it now.


And now, a few other posts from earlier this week:

How weeds bloom.


🎶 “Joyful, joyful, we adore You,

God of glory, Lord of love;

Hearts unfold like flow’rs before You,

Op’ning to the sun above.”

—Henry Van Dyke



“Whenever people are…selfish, they cause trouble…”

—James 3:16


Ingenues’ debut.


Field Dogs. 🙂

Our bird lovin’ Gordon Setters Mamba, left, and Rosebud, right, send their hellos . . . and they’ll keep my husband company while I fly to the east coast to eat cake at my favorite eldest grandson’s fifth birthday party. I’ll be in the air when this posts.

So . . . I’m not only skipping town, I’ll be skipping a week of social media—and my blog. Watch for my next post here on Saturday, May 15.


Thanks for reading, friends. I look forward to reconnecting when I get home.

Watching Nature, Seeing Life: Through His Creation, God Speaks

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Love the outdoors? I can take you there. Rural & wild PNW posts and photos from a naturalist, faith writer, and author of three books, including the award-winning novel Sugar Birds. Member of Redbud Writers Guild.

6 thoughts on “The Endling

  1. Cheryl, I believe you deserve a break. Enjoy your trip East and the 5 year old birthday celebrations. Cheers!

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    Liked by 2 people

  2. I look forward someday to meeting both you and Deborah Maxey, the author of the marvelous The Endling. You write a lovely book review. I, too, read an early copy of this and agree with you. She’s a delight author and this is one delicious read.

    Liked by 2 people

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