Author(s): Barbara Josselsohn
Published by Bookouture on July 2, 2021
Genre(s): Women's Fiction
She held the letter that she had found in the garden, and noticed the distinctive curls of her father’s handwriting etched on the worn paper. Her life had already been turned upside down by one family secret, would his last words force her to leave her childhood home forever?
When Caroline left Lake Summers thirty years ago, she thought she’d never go back to the place where she lost her parents. But when she finds out that the town’s lily garden lovingly built by her mother is going to be destroyed, she knows she must return from Chicago to save it.
Caroline and her daughter Lee are welcomed home by the warm smile of her mother’s best friend Maxine, and piles of pancakes at her cozy little restaurant in town. And Caroline soon learns that she isn’t the only person invested in saving her mother’s legacy, when she meets handsome historian Aaron. As she gets to know him, strolling along the sparkling lakeshore, she can’t imagine anywhere else she’d rather be.
But then Caroline learns a terrible secret about the day her mother died. And soon the real reason Aaron is in Lake Summers comes to light. Will the truth about the people she loves force her to give up a future with Aaron, and the beautiful town that has always been in her heart?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
The Lily Garden served as my introduction to the work of Barbara Josselsohn. Readers who enjoy heartwarming stories in a small town setting should pick up a copy of this wonderful story. Read on and see why it would make the perfect summer read.
The story introduces Caroline, a widow and single mom, to a seventeen-year-old. Caroline currently works in her Aunt’s textile company. The same aunt who raised her from she was twelve years old. She has accepted the life she had living in Chicago, but she wants more for her daughter. Although she had fond memories of her childhood home prior to and after losing her parents where she lived with her mom’s best friend for four years, she never returned to her roots.
Amid preparing for a two-week vacation, which included college tours with her daughter Lee, she received a heart breaking message. Her mother’s lily garden faced imminent destruction, causing her to change her plans and make an unplanned trip to the place she once called home. While there she meets Aaron, a history professor, who recently moved to Lake Summers to take up a professorship at the local university.
Aaron grapples with issues stemming from a recent discovery. However, meeting Caroline proved a welcome distraction.
Caroline exhibited immense growth as the story progressed. I enjoyed watching her leaving her comfort zone and embracing the challenges surrounding the lily garden. Also, I cheered for her when she began making decisions for herself. The secondary characters with their words and actions added to richness of the story.
I loved the relationship Caroline had with her daughter. It reminded so much of the one I shared with my mom. Also, I found the developing romance between Caroline and Aaron to be ok. It received little page time, making it difficult to connect with them as a couple.
The synopsis hinted at a terrible secret, one which I waited eagerly to be revealed. The big reveal occurred almost at the end, which I found sad rather than terrible. I must admit I teared up at the revelation. Also, several misunderstandings in relation to the past were cleared up which allowed for healing to commence.
One of my biggest peeves is a story ending without there being closure to the issues and leaving me to make my own conclusions. The story ended in such a fashion leaving with unanswered questions.
Despite my issue with the ending, I enjoyed this heartwarming and uplifting story of family, friendship and love.
[bctt tweet=”The Lilly Garden by Barbara Josselsohn is an inspiring tale about Caroline, a widow and single mom, who found the courage to fight for her family legacy. @bookouture #newrelease #womensfiction #romance #summerread” username=”TtlyAdd2Reading”]