Saturday, August 7, 2010

Review: Susannah's Garden by Debbie Macomber

When Susannah Nelson turned eighteen, her parents sent her to school abroad. She said goodbye to her boyfriend, Jake -- and never saw him again. She never saw her brother again, either; Doug died in a car accident while she was away. Now, at fifty, she finds herself regretting the paths not taken. Especially the chance to be with Jake . . . Long married, a mother and a teacher, she should be happy. But she feels there's something missing, although she doesn't know exactly what. Not only that, she's balancing the demands of an aging mother and a temperamental twenty-year-old daughter. Because her mother, Vivian, a recent widow, is having difficulty coping and living alone, Susannah prepares to make some hard decisions. In returning to her hometown of Colville, Washington, to her parents' house, her girlhood friends and the garden she's always loved, she also returns to the past -- and the choices she made back then. What she discovers is that things are not always as they once seemed. Some paths are dead ends. But some gardens remain beautiful. 

It was late one evening when I wrote this review. I was tossing and turning in my bed, but I can't seem to know what's bugging me. I just can't go to sleep! This happens to me sometimes. So I grabbed my pen and notebook (where I usually write my book reviews) and started scribbling. I figure that if I did this it'll relax me and finally I can get some sleep. Hopefully...

Susannah's Garden is loosely based on The Blossom Street Series. I'm not really sure if it's really part of the series so I emailed the author, Debbie Macomber, and asked her about my inquiry. I wanted to know if I can skip Susannah's Garden  because I only wanted to read the Blossom Street Series of books. She emailed me back ( I was totally surprised, by the way, that she did that ) and told me that it wasn't. But she said that Susannah's character will be on Back on Blossom Street. In the end, I bought the book. It wouldn't hurt to read it, right?

The story of Susannah's Garden is her journey through life. She is happily married and has a teenage daughter. Vivian, her mother , is suffering from memory loss. She seems to forget the things that matters to her life, her deceased husband, her family and even her own children. This situation prompted Susannah to put her mother into a nursing home facility. It was a very hard decision for her, she loves her mother dearly. It can't be avoided though. When I read this particular part in the book, I can't help but think about my own mother. When the time comes that she's old, I would want to personally take care of her. I don't think I can admit her in a nursing home, if I know that I can care for her.

Chrissie, Susannah's daughter, wanted to help her grandmother too. Then she got involved with this guy Troy Nance, who was a lot older that she was. Susannah saw Troy for what he really was, an opportunist. She tried to convince Chrissie that Troy wasn't the man she thought he was, but she was blind to see it. Her love for Troy prevailed and she ignored Susannah's warnings.

All throughout the book, the author, I think wants her readers to see that the choices we made in our lives aren't always the best for us. But if we can let go of that feeling of bitterness and regret, we can find true happiness.

I gave the book 3 and a half stars. It was a good read but I wanted more from it. Cheerz!
My Rating: 3 ½ stars 

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