Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Garden of Happy Endings by Barbara O’Neal


The Garden of Happy EndingsRomance
I kept seeing The Garden of Happy Endings on Amazon Vine’s Last Harvest list.  It kept calling to me so when there were only two left I put in a request.  I am glad I did.  Here is the story line from Goodreads:
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.
Although this is a book filled with religion I would never label it Christian fiction.  The book starts with a prolog about Elsa as she turns her back on God the second time.  The book moves on to Elsa as she turns her back on God the third time. The theme it really about a crisis of faith, any type of faith and could be about anyone, any religion, any time, and any place.
It is also a romance (more than one), a book about new beginnings after betrayal and how we just have to keep going until we can accept and live with what life has given us.
There are so many great characters in the book.  All of them are important and all add to the richness of the story.  At the end of the book I wanted to continue to follow the characters as they got on with their lives.  That to me is the mark of a very good story.
I don’t want to give away any more about the book. I think that anyone who read the book would come away with something of value and I would recommend the book to anyone.  I also plan to look into other books by Barbara O’Neal.
Bantam published The Garden of Happy Endings by Barbara O’Neal in 2012

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