A native of Washington, DC, Ellyn studied English at the Universities of North Carolina and Maryland, meaning someday to teach. Instead, she met Terry Bache - a conservative Catholic Marine raised on a farm and just back from Vietnam, while she was from a liberal, urban, Jewish family. They married and began a 30-year "discussion" of their differences while having the first of their four children. Instead of teaching, Ellyn was soon a full-time mom. She began writing nearly 30 years ago when her first two children were toddlers and she wanted to stay home with them but still have something "adult" to do. While they napped, she wrote freelance newspaper stories for The Washington Post and other papers, and began teaching herself to write short fiction. It took six years, two more children and countless rejection slips before her first story was published in McCall's! Once her youngest child went to school, Ellyn finally began her first novel, Safe Passage (about a woman with seven sons), which was later made into a film starring Susan Sarandon. Many more novels and short stories followed, including a collection of stories that won the Willa Cather Fiction Prize, and several books that became Literary Guild/Doubleday Book Club selections.

Book List in Order:13 titles

  • From the award-winning author of more than a dozen novels, including "Safe Passage," which became a Susan Sarandon film, comes a collection of 20 of the writer's short stories originally published in such magazines as McCall's and Good Housekeeping i...


  • In these five vivid and unsettling tales, Bache has created flawed characters who might be related to any of us. They are the family black sheep you helplessly love or hate — here so finely drawn you will never forget them....


  • She was the thread that wove their tapestry together. With a group of women as diverse as the ladies from Brightwood Trace, you might not think them to be close. There's Julianne, a nurse with an unsettling psychic ability that allows her to liter...


  • And no man's kiss has since matched that wonderful, summery essence in all its glory. LilyRose knows her rare ability to "see" sounds and "taste" shapes-synesthesia- is a gift that defines who she is...but it's also made her an object of ridicule. An...


  • The moon filled the dusky sky. The darkness came slowly. Veronica was still doing eighty. They crossed another mountain, descended toward a sprinkling of lights in the valley below. More mountains rose in the distance. Veronica tapped her finger...


  • Living with her newly widowed sister was driving BJ Franklin insane. She had to find Iris a husband...fast! So she starts the Over 50's Singles Night. But when only a few elderly ladies and a gay man attend the first meeting, she decides to fix her s...


  • The moon filled the dusky sky. The darkness came slowly. Veronica was still doing eighty. They crossed another mountain, descended toward a sprinkling of lights in the valley below. More mountains rose in the distance. Veronica tapped her fingers on ...


  • The residents of Riggs Park named her Penny, since her hair was the red of a bright copper coin... We'd all grown up in the flourishing Washington, D.C., suburb -- Marilyn, me, Steve, Penny and Wish...the boy I'd loved. It was during the baby-boom...


  • Embarrassed by her mother's all-too-public civil rights activities in the fall of 1963, 17-year-old Beryl Rosinsky flees her home in Washington, DC, and begins college at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Here, in the segregated South,...






  • Granddaddy Terry bounces and plays with his baby daughter, Beth, whom he calls "the Pink Flash" because she wears pink pajamas, and a generation later another little girl shares similar experiences with her father....


  • In this touching portrait of an interfaith family where the mother is Jewish and the father Christian, the preparations for both Hanukkah and Christmas are interrupted by the five-year-old son's sudden, frightening illness. But in the end, their doub...