Friday, March 29, 2019

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Garden Lady

About The Garden Lady

THE GARDEN LADY by Susan Dworkin is a novel about  unexpected love, the silence that becomes complicity, and the magic of redemption.  Urgent and compelling, the story resonates with today’s headlines as it poses the ethical question: How do we live with what we know but choose not to think about or act upon?

Maxie Dash, the heroine of THE GARDEN LADY, is a famous beauty, a fashion icon, the face of many national TV ads. Her first husband, a world-class photographer, took nude pictures of her, which are so beautiful that they now hang in museums.

On the cusp of her 50s, Maxie decides to make one more marriage, something permanent and restful, to a rich man who will guarantee her an affluent life and future security. Amazingly she finds the perfect man. Even more amazingly, she grows to love him. Albert shares Maxie's passion for the opera and willingly supports her favorite charities. He indulges her delight in public gardens and allows her to endow the community with their beauty. All he asks in return is that she give him her love and her unswerving loyalty and agree to know nothing -- absolutely nothing -- about his business.

Maxie is sustained by her best friend, the designer Ceecee Rodriguez, whom she treasures as a sister. But she is shaken by the persistent enmity of Sam Euphemia, a fierce young business executive, who suspects Albert of terrible crimes.

Add Maxie Dash to the list of great heroines of contemporary fiction. Smart, funny, enjoying every moment of her hard-won success,  she ultimately faces the truth about her life, moves past denial and realizes that "her loyalty was a side effect of her greed and her greed was a crime against nature and her silence, her willful, terror-stricken silence, the true disaster."  Her attempt to turn Garbage Mountain, a New Jersey landfill, into a beautiful park is key to her redemption.

THE GARDEN LADY reads like a thriller or a binge-worthy Netflix series. Entertaining and provocative, it is packed with ethical questions, dark humor and insight and offers us a female protagonist you will never forget.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Review:  I breezed through this book in one afternoon. Its only about 200 ish pages and those pages really pull you in!

Maxie is a fashion icon ready to settle down. I try to picture her as a Cindy Crawford/Christy Brinkley type trying to have a comfortable life. The book focuses on Maxie and her friends but also on her husband Albert who may or may not be more than she thinks he is. Actually, he's a lot more than she thinks he is.

This book is one part thriller/suspense and one part family saga in a short form. Maxie's life is a struggle. She loses her parents early in life and its her and CeeCee trying to make it in the world. Maxie has worked hard for what she's got and she wants a comfortable retirement, so to speak. What she gets with Albert isn't quite that.

At the beginning of the book we learn Albert has been murdered and a little bit before that his son Marcus. That's when things start unraveling for Maxie. There are things she may or may not know about her husband, things he may or may not have done.

It gives the book a nice sense of tension, as we see her trying to rebuild her life.

The ending really packed a wallop too. It was not at all what I was expecting.

This book was entertaining and fast paced and really worth the time.

Rating: 4 flowers

About Susan Dworkin

SUSAN DWORKIN wrote the New York Times bestseller The Nazi Officer's Wife, a tale of love and terror in the Third Reich, with the woman who lived the story, the late Edith Hahn Beer Other books include Making Tootsie, the inside story of the great film comedy with Dustin Hoffman and Sydney Pollack; The Viking in the Wheat Field about the eminent seed banker, Dr. Bent Skovmand; Miss America, 1945, Bess Myerson's story; Stolen Goods, a novel of love and larceny in the 80s; and The Commons, about an agrarian revolt led by a pop star and set in the not-so-distant future. Susan was a long-time contributing editor to Ms. Magazine. Her plays are often performed in regional theatres. She lives in Massachusetts.

Find out more about Susan at her website.


Debra Eliotseats said...

It was a quick read. I really was intrigued by the first half. That last half just had me asking "What?"

Sara Strand said...

I am a fan of short-ish books, especially because I'm on a reading roll and I want to get through as many as I can. Thanks for being on the tour!

Sara @ TLC Book Tours

Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs using images from the Tea Time kit and the Saturday Night kit by MK-Designs