Ever since I received this book from the publisher (and I read it cover-to-cover within 24 hours of receipt) I’ve wanted to share it with you guys.
I always love getting to participate in the BlogHer Book Club, because I love getting my hands on new books that I might not otherwise read. In this case, though, the title would have been on my Amazon wish list, with or without the Book Club, because I. Love. Margaret. Dilloway’s. Writing. Very much. (Plus, hello? Cool name!)
Bottom line? Having this book as my latest BHBC selection was a triple yay:
- I got an Advance Copy of a new book. I always feel like one of the cool kids, getting access before the general public
- The book was by an author I already knew I loved, thanks to a previous BHBC opportunity
- I was paid
for the pleasurefor my time, and provided a copy of the book in exchange for sharing this book and my own personal opinion with my readers!
I was really surprised to find how much I could relate to the main character of this book–on the surface, we’re actually nothing alike. That is why Ms. Dilloway quickly became one of my favorite writers. In The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, I was presented with a woman who lives a life so very different from my own, yet I felt so totally connected to her.
Gal, our protagonist, is single, a teacher, and a fledgling rose breeder. Me? I’m married, have kids and don’t work outside of the home–I don’t have co-workers, I haven’t dated in more than fourteen years, and I’ve lived alone for all of about a year. What’s more, I don’t have a chronic disease, and I am more apt to kill anything that I plant as not. But there was something about the raw honesty of Gal that I connected with. I loved her frank take on life, though there were times when I truly winced reading something she had said.
When her niece came to live with her, I was so caught up in the strangeness that she experienced as an all-of-a-sudden parental figure, I felt again the familiar pang, a similar strangeness to that I felt when I became a stepmother. Will Gal just offer a place for her niece to stay in the short term, or will she have an impact on this girl’s life? It is a question that many a “step-” or “bonus-” mom are forced to ponder.
This book is a moving story about unexpected relationships and the ongoing growth that we all experience as we go through our lives, and should not be missed. By all means, read Margaret Dilloway’s second novel when it is released on August 2. (But in the meantime, go ahead and get her first!)
Margaret Dilloway shares on BlogHer some of the background behind her novel, and I urge you to go on over and check it out. Not only is she a fantastic author, but an incredibly introspective and caring woman. In writing this fabulous book, Margaret pays a beautiful tribute to her late sister-in-law.
Disclosure: As mentioned above, BlogHer is compensating me for the time I spent reviewing this book, and I received an ARC gratis. Opinions, as always here at Just Margaret, are my own.