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Lillian's Garden Paperback – 26 Apr 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Review

In this earnest but prosaic story of an early-1960s woman in conflict, Helen Nichols, mother of teenagers Tommy and Linda, husband to Richard, stands out in her small Midwestern town. Linda s classmates call Helen crazy; what emerges is a mix of existential angst and bipolar disorder. Helen yearns for something, but other than the pleasures of the eponymous garden, begun by her beloved mother-in-law Lillian, Helen can t find it not in her hard-working husband, scarred by WWII; not in her fire-and-brimstone Freewill Baptist church; maybe, if only a little bit, in her children. This first novel reads more like a memoir than a fictional narrative; episodic, remembered, and not fully realized. The garden becomes a rich metaphor thanks to the book s most vivid (but least convincing) character, the lay preacher Devil hunter Joe Nathan, who finds it full of pride and compares Helen to Eve. --Publishers Weekly; 3/25/13"

About the Author

Carrie was born in Detroit and grew up in Wayne, Michigan in the shadow of Eloise Mental Hospital. She wrote Lillian's Garden because she strongly believes women often forget to plant the seeds of their own dreams while they are busy juggling the responsibilities of being both a good wife and a mother. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lillian's Garden is an excellent read 16 Dec. 2013
By Southern gal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Have you ever been in a relationship where you didn’t feel like you could be yourself or assert your needs? Have you ever been in a relationship where you constantly side-stepped someone’s anger or made adjustments because of a volatile temper? If so, you will relate to Helen, the main character of this book.

While this book is set in a specific era, it has timeless themes. Lillian’s Garden explores the impact on the soul when we ignore who we are over time – to the point of affecting our sanity. There are other themes – how we deal with shame and family secrets. This story delivers what you expect from a well-written book – first the pleasure of being absorbed in the lives of the characters and then after the last page is turned, the days of reflecting on the themes.

There is hope and redemption in this story (but not without significant pain). But if you’ve experienced those relationship issues that make you feel a little crazy or a lot crazy it is an encouraging story – and definitely worth the read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the book and was fascinated when I heard the ... 25 Jun. 2014
By Patricia S. Reed - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the book and was fascinated when I heard the author explain how she developed the story. So much about life and so much imagery.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What grows in the dark? 5 Mar. 2014
By Book worm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lilian's Garden doe not fit any formulas. At it's heart it is a story of what depression and abandonment can do, and what can happen when the status quo changes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lillian's Garden 17 Sept. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A wonderful read. I could not help getting wrapped up into all of the characters. I had to use a whole box of tissues to get through this one. Loved it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! 31 Aug. 2013
By Debra Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carrie Knowles tells a great tale about finding yourself and becoming the person you want to be, not the person anyone else wants you to be.
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