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Monday, May 12, 2008

Tending Roses...Review

About the book:
The lessons that most enrich our lives often come at unexpected moments and from unlikely places. That's what Katie Benson learns when she moves temporarily
with her husband Ben and baby sonto her grandmother's Missouri farm. She arrives at a time of crisis and indecisionstruggling with the demands of being a new mother, a not-so-new wife, and a well-meaning but often impatient granddaughter. The family has assigned her and Ben the job of convincing Grandma Rose, who's become increasingly stubborn and forgetful, to move off the land that means so much to her and into a nursing home. Katie knows such a change would break her grandmother's heart. But what is right for her grandmother? And what is right for herself and her family?

Just when Katie despairs of finding answers, she discovers her grandmother's journal. A beautiful handmade notebook, it is full of heartwarming stories that celebrate the virtue of patience, the power of love, and the importance of family, friendship, and faith. Stories that make Katie see her life
and her grandmotherin a completely new way... and lead her toward a new, more meaningful future...

I'd heard so many rave reviews about this book that I was tempted to not read it. Too much praise normally turns me off of books. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this one, which is based on the author's own experiences with her grandmother.

Kate Bowman and her husband arrive at her grandmother's farm to spend Christmas, but to also prepare the way for the rest of the family to inform Grandma that it's time to move to a care facility. Kate and her husband are young, up and comers, with an expensive lifestyle, and due to their newborn son's heart surgery, a lot of medical debt and unpaid medical leave.

While predictable, I loved the story of family. There were many areas in which I could relate to Kate: my newborn son had open-heart surgery, and while we all love each other, my family has had its own communication issues. Grandma Rose, realizing that Kate doesn't want to hear well-intentioned advice, writes stories of her life in a journal and then leaves that journal in places Kate will find it. Being curious, Kate reads the entries and along the way comes to understand not only her grandmother, but herself as well.

There are some beautiful quotes which are always attributed to Grandma Rose, but are quite profound. "Sometimes we must try to view the actions of those around us with forgiveness. We must realize that they are going on the only road they can see. Sometimes we cannot raise our chins and see eye to eye, so we must bow our heads and have faith in one another."

A touching novel that simply reminds you to slow down your life and enjoy the roses along your path.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 5/08

* * *

3/5 Stars

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