Church of the Graveyard Saints by C. Joseph Greaves
Book Review: Church of the Graveyard Saints by C. Joseph Greaves
By Sara Rinne
[October 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage]
Church of the Graveyard Saints by C. Joseph Greaves is set in Cortez, Colorado, and the landscape—from red rock canyons to hard, parched ground scattered with desert plants—is a vast, sweeping character inside which Greaves’ novel takes place.
At the center of Saints is Addie Decker, formerly of Cortez, who now lives happily in Los Angeles. When she returns home for her grandmother Vivien’s funeral, Addie learns that she has inherited Vivien’s ranch, Red Rocks Ranch. Thus begins Addie’s dilemma, as she is pulled in different directions between family loyalty, large corporate interests, dire environmental concerns, her life away from Cortez, and wondering if she can ever truly come home again.
Addie’s journey reminded me so much of myself, as I returned to my hometown of Montrose after years away in a big city, and it felt, upon my return, at once so familiar and at the same time completely unmoored. Can we ever go home? Greaves tackles this question and many others, in this beautifully rendered Western novel.
Church of the Graveyard Saints is the Four Corners/One Book Selection for the program’s inaugural year. The communities of Montrose, Cortez, Ignacio, Moab, Dolores, and Mancos are all participating in community-wide reading groups and discussions with the author. You can purchase a copy of Church of the Graveyard Saints at Maggie’s Books in Montrose, or check out a copy at the Montrose Library. C. Joseph Greaves will be in Montrose in January 2020 for an author talk and public book discussion.
Church of the Graveyard Saints made me take another look at this beautiful place we get to call home, and made me reexamine my own place in it. I highly recommend this book, and I hope you will join me in participating in the Four Corners/One Book events.