Updated: Sep 15, 2022
Lauren Denton, with her immersive storytelling, continues leading me down a road filled with glory, beauty, and unparalleled splendor. The authenticity and raw connectedness to her characters is something that resonates with me on a level that transcends fiction. I see life through Jessie, Gus, and Evan’s eyes and feel compelled to echo those soul-stirring sentiments buried beneath layers of calcifying experiences.
Life is tough, messy, complicated, and uncertain… so uncertain. But it’s the people we surround ourselves with and summoning the courage to open our true selves up to them that makes everything seem more “right”. There’s not a word for it, that feeling when everything settles into place because you’ve given yourself permission to be the person you truly are. But the entirety of this novel wraps around you with that anxious yet comforting message. It’s not always easy to mix such competing words and feelings (anxiety and comfort) inside a single thought, but Ms. Denton and her interwoven storylines accomplish that feat with perfection.
Jessie’s comments about finding the “one” caused me to smile on the inside: “I think you marry the one who, when everything else is stripped away—money, job, arguments, disagreements—he’s still the one you’d want to sit with on the porch and…just…do nothing. Or do anything.”
That. It’s lines like this that settle into an elemental part of yourself and become part of the fabric of your being. They stick with you long after you finish reading about fictional characters in made-up stories, however real they might feel in the moment. These are the small seeds, that when planted, blossom into the most vibrant, healthy, and colorful blooms of our personal gardens.
The floral overtones, the intergenerational connection between the three women in this story, and the supporting characters surrounding them, create a garden that will survive any drought, flood, or other extreme weather condition tossed at it, physical or otherwise.
In her closing remarks, Lauren thanks her readers for passing along her books to friends, sisters, daughters, mothers, and even a few husbands and fathers. Count me as one in that last group, and let me assure you, the number of people who would benefit from reading this beautiful story—man, woman, or child—is so much greater than a few.
Find your path, with all its grooves and bumps and ruts. There might be dusty fragments scattered in the breeze or thick mud that slows you down, but when it’s “your” road and “your” choice, it’s undeniably the most glorious road you’ll ever travel.
Dave’s Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️
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