Published April 2, 2013
Trade paperback, 352 pages
I didn't quite know what to expect from this novel, but I didn't think it would affect me so deeply, make me laugh and cry and sigh. I simply loved reading this book. I savored it and didn't wanting it to end.
Meg May grew up with an imaginative and free-spirited mom, Valerie, who told her funny and outlandish stories about her childhood. Whenever Meg asked her what really happened, her mom would repeat these same stories. As Meg grew up she became frustrated and rejected anything illogical and decided to become a scientist. She wanted to be the opposite of her mother. When Valerie became ill and Meg realized she was dying, Meg decided to spend the summer with her. Finally, she was determined to know the truth about her past, about who she was.
Meg learned more than she was prepared for but the presence of Ewan, the young gardener--who her mother hired to tend the vegetable garden and landscape--and her mother's advancing illness jolted her to question everything she ever believed and what truly matters. Is her mother crazy or is there a reason why she invents stories about her past life and Meg's childhood? And how will the truth change who she is?
Beautifully written, and filled with the warmth of comfort food, spices and herbs, gardens and orchards, and a loving but conflicted mother-and-daughter relationship, this debut novel is simply a delicious and feel-good read. I loved how Meg grew as a person, how she was torn with her feelings about a mother she adored yet rejected, until she came to realize the sacrifices her mother made in loving her to the best of her abilities. Valerie's character made me want to be a more fun-loving mom. Ewan was a smart and confident young man whose insightful nature helped both Meg and her mother heal. I was attracted to him immediately!
This is a warm novel that deals with relationships using quirky humour, nature, and the power of storytelling. It will count as one of my best read in 2013. Highly recommended.
Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
Reviewed by Laura
Disclosure: Thanks to Sourcebooks for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.
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