TITLE: Winter Bloom
AUTHOR: Tara Heavey
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 369 pages
PUBLISHED: Gallery Books, 2010
HOW I GOT IT: Received from Gallery Books for Review
FROM GOODREADS: There would be tunnels of roses, beds of strawberries, fountains of overflowing herbs. And there might even be love. . . .
In the heart of bustling modern Dublin is a littered, overgrown garden of tangled weeds and a stagnant, hidden pond. Belonging to an iron-willed elderly lady named Mrs. Prendergast, who is rumored to have murdered and buried her husband there, the garden draws Eva Madigan, a young mother struggling to move on from the pain of her past. Eva is joined by Emily, a beautiful but withdrawn college dropout; Uri, an old-world immigrant; Seth, his all-too-handsome son; and occasionally even Mrs. Prendergast herself. But what drives Eva to transform the neglected urban wilderness? What makes the others want to help her? Even as Mrs. Prendergast puts the land up for sale, the thorny lives of all the gardeners are revealed and slowly start to untangle. Overgrown secrets are dug up and shared. Choices are made; a little pruning is in order. Now Eva is about to discover that every garden is a story of growth toward a final harvest. . . .
MY TAKE: This was such a charming book. The author did a really fabulous job developing characters that I really cared about. They were warm and real.
I already knew how plants and gardening can bring people together, but this story just brought that fact home. As readers, we get to witness and be a part of five people putting themselves out there. They all have pain and secrets in their lives that they are trying to overcome and get beyond. The garden is a place of mystery and magic that helps to heal old wounds and create new relationships.
Tara Heavey writes beautifully and has created a story that has a permanent place on my shelf. It is one of the "comfort reads" that we all need to have on store for when life gets to be a bit much. Highly recommended!