25 Dec 2013

"The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns" by Margaret Dilloway


Thirty-six-year-old Gal Garner lives a regimented life. Her job teaching biology and her struggle with kidney disease keep her toggling between the high school, the hospital, and her home on a strict schedule. Only at home, in her garden, does Gal come alive. It's here that she experiments with Hulthemia roses, painstakingly cross-pollinating various specimens in the hopes of creating a brand-new variation of spectacular beauty. But even her passion has a highly structured goal: Gal wants to win Queen of Show in a major competition and bring that rose to market.Then one afternoon Gal's teenaged niece Riley, the daughter of her estranged sister, arrives. Unannounced. Neither one of them will ever be the same.Filled with gorgeous details of the art of rose breeding, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns is a testament to the redemptive power of love.

The story takes place in California.
It starts in March and ends in November. (Don't get me wrong, the author does not tell us about every day in every month!)
There is a passage extracted from a fictional rose-book by the fictional Winslow Blythe at the beginning of each month.
So we do learn a lot about roses!
Moreover, roses play a much more important role at the beginning and are mentioned much more often, compared to the ending.
The protagonist Galilee is a very interesting character one cannot really understand in the beginning.
Despite of this, I always felt with her.
When she was sad, I was sad, too. When she was happy,  I joined her happiness.
Gradually, one starts to understand her thoughts and feelings much better; she becomes more likeable.
In the end, I did not even want to let her go! :D
I felt as if she, a fictional character, was one of my dearest friends! :D
"The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns" by Margaret Dilloway is a very emotional, special book, that moves one.
It is like the characters: realistic; and like Gal: interesting.
It could have been a part of a (not-boring) biography!
The author really thought about every little thing, all mentioned characters are important for the course of the story.
The story is not too long, eventhough it has a quite big number of pages.
Margaret Dilloway has done a great job!