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by Norman Draper

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Backyard by Norman Draper
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Janet W. (Davis, CA)

The gardening world's 'Best of Show'
This was a delight to read. One of my favorite movies of all time is 'Best of Show' which satirizes the dog show world and this book is the 'Best of Show' for the gardening world. If anyone doubts this, they haven't known obsessive gardeners. I have. I know 'Dr. Sproot' very well!

I would recommend this book to anyone with a sense of humor, gardening interests, friends who are gardeners, or who just want a good chuckle. Mr. Draper has definitely known - or written about - gardeners in his time as a reporter. I look forward to future books of his.
Charlene M. (Murrells Inlet, SC)

Dr. Phil Sproot, Marta Poppendauber, Jasper Burdick – owner of Burdick's Plant Word Emporium – are a few of the creative characters in Norman Draper's novel Backyard. Any garden enthusiasts and future gardeners would love the plot of the book with sprinkles of witchcraft, spells, maybe a curse or two, and everyone's question why is newcomers Nan and George Fremont's garden the envy of the town. Make sure you have a plant book handy to reference the flowers, shrubs, and trees that Mr. Draper edifies.
Barbara G. (Lisle, IL)

Skullduggery in the Garden
If you've ever been a gardener, you'll enjoy this light-hearted romp through suburban Livia's first ever gardening competition, along the lines of the dog show exposé Best in Show. Beautifully detailed yards and planting descriptions fill the pages. Gardening contestants are also described in detail: erstwhile gardening know-it-all, Dr. Phyllis Sproot, who'll stop at nothing to ensure her coreopsis-salvia-hollyhock blend will take first prize. Her acolyte and drudge, Marta Poppendauber, first admired Sproot for her gardening expertise, but is lured by her mentor into nefarious garden espionage and attempted destruction of the sure winning garden. Amateurs Nan and George Fremont enjoy relaxing and surveying their garden work from their patio with the help of their favorite Merlot or the occasional gin and tonic. There's even a self-taught witch hired by Sproot. All the goings on rise to a head during a fearsome thunder storm with straight-line winds just before the final judging. Even the local police are pulled into the action.
Laura Gail W. (Kapaa, HI)

I love this type of homespun yarn! reminiscent of the Mitford Series with its zany cast of characters. I always looked forward to picking up the book to stay " in touch" with what's going on... I would read any other books by Norman Draper
Sue Z. (Cornelius, NC)

Backyard by Norman Draper
One does not have to be a gardener to thoroughly enjoy "Backyard" although it may add a tiny extra dimension. The characters in this book are all slightly mad and manage to get themselves into crazy situations which are laugh-out-loud funny. They will stop at nothing to try to win a gardening contest and the results are nothing short of hilarious There is a certain element to each of the characters that makes the reader think, just for a fleeting moment, now where do I know that person from? A funny funny book
Shirley D. (Amherst, MA)

BACKYARD by Norman Draper
Flower Gardeners, this book is for you! Those of you who have not only nodding acquaintance but probably speaking acquaintance as well with all the individual flower "characters" present in these pages will be delighted. There is a plot revolving around a gardening contest and the neighborhood psychopath who is determined to maintain her esteemed position at all costs. The rather weak plot is vastly overshadowed by the beauty of the author's word pictures. A fun read for all who love flowers, even when one doesn't know them by name.
Power Reviewer
Daniel A. (Naugatuck, CT)

I really enjoyed reading this entertaining book. It was funny, actually, laugh out loud funny. I take my current book to read everywhere I go and while reading this book in various restaurants I frequent, loud laughter escapes my mouth to the chagrin of customers trying to enjoy their lunch; but much to my surprise, no negative feedback from the restaurant staff, so I'll continue bringing my books along.

This story is about backyard gardens in the little suburb of Livia, in the upper Midwest, and a contest for the best garden of Livia, held by the local garden shop. The reader finds out about the unusual cast of characters that enter this contest with the winner taking in $5,000.

Without any spoilers, I will say the book has a feel-good quality to it, especially the ending when the winner was announced.

My recommendation to you is read this book when it gets published in December 2014. You will be glad you did.
Gary R. (Bolingbrook, IL)

a gardener's delight
If you want blood and gore you won't find it here, just the sap from the flowers. A decent story of gardening gone goofy. When the gardening contest to end all contests is announced, things get seriously out of hand. A fun read with a cast of characters, give it a try!
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