cover image Return to Orchard Canyon: A Business Novel

Return to Orchard Canyon: A Business Novel

Ken McElroy. KyleKade, $27.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-937832-82-7

McElroy (The ABCs of Property Management), a real estate developer, uses a fictional format in this helpful look at real-life business fundamentals. Readers meet middle-aged David Reynolds, embittered after losing both his marriage and his banking job, and his teenage daughter, Meghan, as they visit Orchard Canyon, the Sedona, Ariz., apple orchard and resort owned by David’s father, Ron. Meghan, looking for a high school project, finds a great resource in her grandfather’s stories of the Depression. She decides to write a paper about how her great-grandparents survived that period, which illustrate how financial security comes from self-sufficiency. Her father, meanwhile, considers his ex-wife’s postdivorce successes, in entrepreneurship and investing, as a lens through which to reexamine his own stagnant career. Slowly overcoming his negative thinking, David finally learns to sees opportunities rather than dead ends in his situation. The characters also discuss, among other subjects, the digital economy’s dynamism and whether college is crucial to everyone’s career path. Some of the homilies embedded in McElroy’s dialogue—“Better is what you make of something” and “You have to believe and then you’ll see it”—are on the saccharine side. Nonetheless, readers should find the simple financial lessons in this accessible and rather sweet book to be memorable and actionable. (Nov.)