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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Review - LEOTA'S GARDEN by Francine Rivers


Sometimes I get ahead of myself on scheduled reviews, so I pick an author I know I'm going to love, preferably one who writes thick books, and get some reading material that I don't have to review. Except...I just have to review this one. Beautifully done, Francine Rivers. Characters are believable, hateable, lovable, troubling, tragic, and all totally different from one another. No flat cardboard figures here. Three-dimensional, real, breathing characters. Although--still fictional of course. But this scenario could (and probably has) happened!

Leota is a lonely old widow, rejected by the children she gave birth to but had to hand over to her mother-in-law to raise so she could work. The war (World War II) wrought horrors not only on the battle fronts but also in the homes. Leota's only refuge was the garden she put into the back yard of their home. There, she met with the Lord while she raised enough for the family, enough to sell some of it, and enough to share with the neighbors.

Now the neighborhood has gone to seed. Windows are barred. People watch each other with suspicion. No one tends her garden for Leota, and she is unable to anymore. Nothing to share. Nothing to sell. Living on Social Security. She calls a phone number shown on TV to request some volunteer help. A young man, Corban, answers the need--however reluctantly. His professor insisted he include a case study in his thesis on how to handle the poor and aging population. This cranky old lady is it.

And Leota's granddaughter, tired of her mother's authoritarian rule over her life, slips the bounds of the contentious home and begins an acquaintance with the grandmother she's only barely spoken a shy hello to in the past.

And so it begins. I can't recommend this book too highly. I wish I could give it ten stars. Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christian Book Distributors.

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