Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Perennials by Julie Cantrell - Reviewed
When two estranged sisters reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary, a family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.
Eva—known to all as Lovey—grew up in Oxford, MS, surrounded by literary history and her mother's stunning perennial gardens. But a garden shed fire and the burns suffered by one of her best friends seemed to change everything. Her older sister Bitsy blamed her for the fire—and no one spoke up on her behalf. Bitsy the cheerleader, Bitsy the homecoming queen, Bitsy married to a wealthy investor. And all the while, Lovey blamed for everything that goes wrong.
At eighteen, Lovey turns down a marriage proposal, flees from Oxford and the expectations of attending Ole Miss, and instead goes to Arizona—the farthest thing from the South she can imagine. She becomes a successful advertising executive, a weekend yoga instructor, and seems to have it all together. But she's alone. And on her 45th birthday, she can't help but wonder what's wrong.
When she gets a call from her father—still known to everyone as Chief from his Ole Miss football days—insisting that she come home three weeks early for her parents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration, she's at wits end. She's about to close the biggest contract of her career, the one that will secure her financial goals and set her up for retirement. But his words, "Family First," hit too close to home. Is there hope for her estranged relationship with Bitsy after all this time?
Eva's journey home, to the memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise for her mother, becomes one of discovering roots, and truth, and love, and what living perennially in spite of disappointments and tragedy really means. Eva thought she wanted to leave her family and the South far behind . . . but she's realizing she hasn't truly been herself the whole time she's been gone.
Julie Cantrell is an award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, teacher, and speaker. She has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and has earned starred reviews by both Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Cantrell is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship and was named a finalist for the 2017 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Fiction Award. Perennials is her fourth novel.
I was introduced to Julie Cantrell through her first novel, Into the Free. Her debut novel that captivated me from the beginning and will always be a favorite.
Her new book Perennials is beautifully written family saga, that deals with secrets, sibling rivalry, fractured dreams, along with hope, forgiveness, and healing.
With symphonic prose, Ms. Cantrell writes a story that everyone of us can relate to on some level. Whether broken dreams we let go in our life, people the need to forgive, and since most of us have experienced a broken dream, and have someone we need to forgive, even if it is our self. We need to heal, and Ms. Cantrell shows this in a beautiful tangible way.
I loved how Ms. Cantrell used flowers, and gardening symbolism to show both a spiritual and inspirational message. I loved the garden which is a huge part of the story, so I won't say too much, I would love to be able to go there physically to see it.
Every piece of this novel is relevant to all women today in one way or another. This is a must read!
It releases today! You can purchase your copy here . . .AMAZON
I received a copy of this book from the author through the publisher, for the purpose of a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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