Monday, April 30, 2012

(59)The Garden of Happy Endings by Barbara O'Neal

The Garden of Happy Endings

Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 416

There is a common theme that runs through the books by Barbara O'Neal.  And that is the healing power of food.  Her new book, The Garden of Happy Endings, continues that theme.

In this book we meet a Seattle Reverend Elsa Montgomery.  Elsa is on a sabbatical after a fourteen year old member of her Parrish was brutally murdered. And Elsa found the body.  Her faith is on rocky ground and she hopes that a trip home to Pueblo helps restore her faith.  At the insistence of her childhood best friend, and former fiance, Father Jack, she gets involved in a project of a community garden in the roughest part of town.  Even when Elsa discovers that her Brother-In-Law has bilked people out of millions and her sister, Tamsin's, world falls apart, Elsa still stays focused on the community garden and what it is becoming to many people in the community.  Together Elsa and Tamsin discover the healing power of food as they work through their hurts and put their lives back together.

I always enjoy Barbara O'Neal's books.  There is something about them that just seems - peaceful,  for the lack of a better word.  Even though her characters are always struggling with a major issue, they always find peace in food.  Whether it be baking bread or working as a chef, or as it was with Elsa, gardening.  There is something about the act of giving that shines through in her novels and the giving comes in the form of food.

I really enjoyed The Garden of Happy Endings, just like I knew I would.  The scenery, the food, the connections, and most of all the characters.  Barbara O'Neal has written another wonderful book that will tug at your heart strings while making your mouth water.  You have to read it just to get to the end and the recipes!


Ethan said...

Great review! You may be interested in reading The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan. The story follows a young woman as she attempts to survive after a shipwreck. It also details a murder trial and provides some interesting insights into the world during the early 20th century. I am currently hosting a giveaway of the novel, so follow the link below if you are interested. Thanks for your insightful reviews.

Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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