Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Review: The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman

In her inimitable style, Viola Shipman explores the unlikely relationship between two very different women brought together by the pain of war, but bonded by hope, purpose…and flowers.

Iris Maynard lost her husband in World War II, her daughter to illness and, finally, her reason to live. Walled off from the world for decades behind the towering fence surrounding her home, Iris has built a new family…of flowers. Iris propagates her own daylilies and roses while tending to a garden filled with the heirloom starts that keep the memories of her loved ones alive.
When Abby Peterson moves next door with her family—a husband traumatized by his service in the Iraq War and a young daughter searching for stability—Iris is reluctantly yet inevitably drawn into her boisterous neighbor’s life, where, united by loss and a love of flowers, she and Abby tentatively unearth their secrets, and help each other discover how much life they have yet to live.

My Review:

A brilliantly written story about hope, friendship and new beginnings.

A new family has moved into the house next door to Iris Maynard, her parents’ old house.  She had no idea what was going on with the Peterson family until they become friends.  All Iris knew was they were a young couple with a little girl names Lily, a flower name just like her own.  Iris soon learns about Abby’s career and marriage struggles and Cory, Abby’s husband, is suffering from PTSD after serving in the Iraq war.  Iris lost her husband in WWII and her daughter shortly after.  She become a recluse after both losses.  But with the help of each other, Iris and Cory help each other come out of their shells and learn to live again.  And, Abby gains the confidence to take her life in her own hands when it comes to her career.

I have read all of this author’s books and with each new one, I say it was the best.  This book falls right in line with that saying.  I was hooked from the very beginning.  The story took me on a journey through the characters lives, past and present, and taught me about flowers and gardening.  It also taught me to open my eyes and truly see what’s around me, not just what’s on the surface.  The story wrapped up with an ending that brought tears to my eyes.  I can't end this review without mentioning sweet Lily and how she was crucial to this story by bringing her family and Iris together. 

Thank you to Graydon House and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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