In Barbara O’Neal’s novel of hope and renewal, two very different sisters discover that life is like a garden: Tend to it daily, nourish it with patience and optimism, and then watch the beauty unfold.
After tragedy shatters her small community in Seattle, the Reverend Elsa Montgomery has a crisis of faith. Returning to her hometown of Pueblo, Colorado, she seeks work in a local soup kitchen. Preparing nourishing meals for folks in need, she keeps her hands busy while her heart searches for understanding.
Meanwhile, her sister, Tamsin, as pretty and colorful as Elsa is unadorned and steadfast, finds her perfect life shattered when she learns that her financier husband is a criminal. Enduring shock and humiliation as her beautiful house and possessions are seized, the woman who had everything now has nothing but the clothes on her back.
But when the going gets tough, the tough get growing. A community garden in the poorest, roughest part of town becomes a lifeline. Creating a place of hope and sustenance opens Elsa and Tamsin to the renewing power of rich earth, sunshine, and the warm cleansing rain of tears. While Elsa finds her heart blooming in the care of a rugged landscaper, Tamsin discovers the joy of losing herself in the act of giving - and both women discover that with time and care, happy endings flourish.
©2012 Barbara Samuel (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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I really loved the premise of this book and I thought that it could have been a serious exploration of losing faith. But it wasn't. The characters were there, the plot was set, and yet it stayed on the surface, never delving into the philosophy of a spiritual crisis. Barbara O'Neal's writing, especially her realistic dialogue, was very good and the narration by Tanya Eby was spot on. I just feel liked the author missed the opportunity to go deeper.
I loved this story, so thoughtful and enjoyable. Loved the three women and each of their stories. There search and exploration of what makes them happy was important. I especially appreciated Elsa's journey - her spiritual one and her search for her partner in life.
Narration was perfect. Made this story even more enjoyable. Great pacing, lovely variation of voice for various characters.
Believer in what you can't see
Learning through helping.
The boy who was killed and became a ghost and an angel for the field.
Eby's brings the voices to the characters, but O'neal writes story that stand alone.
At the end of the story when the gang members attack Elisa and she ends up in the hospital and the angels and saints help her recuperate. I also like the community garden and kitchen and all the positive relationship that come from it.
I like the garden and recipe stories it seems to me they should fit together some how, but unfortunately they don't.
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