Lillian's Garden Paperback – 26 Apr 2013
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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.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.
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