It’s poetic that internationally bestselling author Wade Rouse uses his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, as the pen name for his books centered on family and heirlooms. His portrayal of strong, emotionally engaging protagonists is fresh and free of excessive sentimentality, while his unrushed pace and elegant language capture an old-world charm that makes for an enchanting reading experience. His latest novel...is a beautifully understated story about the loss and discovery of family and ourselves ... At once heart-rending and hopeful, this story is a bouquet of sorrow and joy, perseverance and patience.
Through flowers, stories about them, flashbacks to previous joys and terrors, and the challenges of everyday encounters outside their respective physical and psychological walls, each and every character of The Heirloom Garden grows beyond grief and pain to embrace things that really matter and keep us going through the toughest of times --- trust, courage, empathy, optimism and, of course, love, the greatest power of all ... Shipman navigates real and substantial issues of grief, pain and healing through a lively and engaging story that exquisitely balances those deep and serious themes with the ever-emerging beauty that gardeners may know best, but is freely shared with all who care to stop, look, smell and listen with an open heart.
Loss, grief, and gardening unite two women in Shipman’s...heartwarming novel ... The likable women and the engaging information on flowers will appeal to readers of Rhys Bowen’s The Victory Garden...and fans of Mary Alice Monroe and Lorna Landvik.