Thirty-six-year-old Gal Garner lives a regimented life. Her job teaching biology and her struggle with kidney disease keep her toggling between the high school, the hospital, and her home on a strict schedule.
Only at home, in her garden, does Gal come alive. It's here that she experiments with Hulthemia roses, painstakingly cross-pollinating various specimens in the hopes of creating a brand-new variation of spectacular beauty. But even her passion has a highly structured goal: Gal wants to win Queen of Show in a major competition and bring that rose to market.
Then one afternoon Gal's teenaged niece Riley, the daughter of her estranged sister, arrives. Unannounced. Neither one of them will ever be the same.
Filled with gorgeous details of the art of rose breeding, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns is a testament to the redemptive power of love.
"Believable situations with well-drawn characters make this novel as lovely as the roses Gal tends. Dilloway's second novel is a captivating study of how love and understanding nurture our lives. Engaging, enlightening, thoughtful, this is a winner." - Library Journal
"Dilloway's tale is slow in reaching the sweet part of Gal's hardened heart, and this lack of empathy will push some readers away." - Publishers Weekly
"A richly textured diversion from standard treatments of family angst, Dilloway's (How to Be an American Housewife, 2010) new novel expresses a graceful understanding ofthe virtues of mercy." - Booklist
"I was captivated from the very first page. This uplifting novel about family and forgiveness brought me to both laughter and tears." - Jean Kwok, New York Times-bestselling author of Girl in Translation
"Rapturous. To say I loved this book is an understatement." - Caroline Leavitt, New York Times-bestselling author of Pictures of You
"Galilee Garner is as prickly, thorny, and gracefully sweet as one of her prize roses. And her supporting characters bloom with their own quirks and virtues. A fun and uplifting read." - Tiffany Baker, New York Times-bestselling author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
"A touching, moving story... Margaret Dilloway is a gifted, talented writer." - Darien Gee, author of Friendship Bread
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Rated of 5
Perhaps some people look like their pets, but Gal Garner becomes like her rose-breeding hobby: prickly, temperamental and very high maintenance. This story is sweetly predictable; Gal has health issues that keep her tied to a routine of regular dialysis and a regimented and restricted life with a tendency for self-pity. Along comes a teenage niece who makes Gal consider (just a little) someone else's misfortunes. I had higher hopes for Gal's metamorphosis.
The information on roses and the insider look at the breeding and contests carry this book--I will share this book with my horticulturally-inclined friends.
Margaret Dilloway lives in Southern California with her husband and their three young children. This is her second novel. Visit her website at www.margaretdilloway.com.
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