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4.0 out of 5 starsVery Prickly!
Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. I almost gave it a 5!! This book starts off a bit slow, but then I found it hard to put down. Gal Garner is a tough science teacher in a private high school. She is also an amateur rose breeder in her spare time and wants to win "Queen of Show" in a major competition. She also needs a kidney! She is on a wait list for one, and this will be her third one. She must spend every other night in the hospital undergoing dialysis. So between school, dialysis, and her green house she leads an extremely busy and structured life. To throw Gal's world off kilter her sister ships off her niece, Riley, to stay with her without any warning. Gal is beyond frazzled by this turn of events.There were so many elements in this story. It also had many characters and I enjoyed their development. The main character is very prickly, like thorns on roses!
4.0 out of 5 starsStrong writing and interesting sub-plots
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2012
I enjoyed this book, since it wove stories of family interaction with tons of information all supplied very interestingly about the propagation and naming of roses. It reminded me of learning how thoroughbred horses have to follow a set of rules, and the ones for roses are quite similar. Who knew? Very nice interactions between the characters, and I enjoyed this book very much
5.0 out of 5 starsLovely sophomore novel from the author of How to Be An American Housewife
Reviewed in the United States on July 21, 2013
Gal Garner is a high school biology teacher and a rose breeder with a scientific mind and high expectations of others. She is also on dialysis and in need of a kidney transplant. Her life feels like it’s on hold and she’s trying to keep the world at bay until her 15-year-old niece Riley unexpectedly comes to live with her. I loved how this novel wasn’t predictable, and how even though Gal could come across as an unpleasant stickler at times, I was always rooting for her! I also really liked learning about roses and rose shows and the life of someone on dialysis. Very believable and well-researched!
It took me until half of the book to really get interested. After that, I couldn't put it down! Just wish there was another one by Dilloway explaining the ending. Wasn't happy with the ending.. Could have been more clear on what happens to the "heroine"
Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2012
I adore a difficult person, both in the real world and the fictional one, but it takes a deft hand to write an unsympathetic character for whom the reader roots throughout the whole book. This was wonderfully well-crafted and a pleasure to read, from beginning to end.
This story is about a woman who is ill physically and emotionally. Her work with roses and the people and situations in her life give her a real chance to heal. I loved this beautiful story of life! The information about growing and creating new roses was interesting as well.
We are presented with a cast of characters whose interactions are not predictable and the reader is caught up in a range of emotions. I didn't really like the main character at first, but the author brought me around to accept her "as she was" . This is really good writing!