Title: The Lily Garden
Author: Barbara Josselsohn
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance
Caroline remembered how her mother would head to the garden as the first signs of spring approached, rolling up her sleeves and planting wildflowers as the sun set. But there was a lot she didn’t know about her mother, and the family secrets hidden in her hometown that would change everything…
When Caroline left Lake Summers thirty years ago, she thought she’d never go back to the place where she lost her parents. But when she finds out that the town’s lily garden lovingly built by her mother is going to be destroyed, she knows she must return from Chicago to save it.
Welcomed by the warm smile of her mother’s best friend Maxine, and piles of pancakes at her cozy little restaurant in town, Caroline and her daughter Lee immediately begin their campaign to save the garden. And Caroline soon learns that she isn’t the only person invested in their plan: handsome historian Aaron is new to town but he sees how special the garden is too. As Caroline gets to know him, strolling along the sparkling lakeshore, she can’t imagine anywhere else she’d rather be.
But then Caroline learns a terrible secret about the day her mother died. If she continues fighting to save the garden, she may uncover more painful truths that will affect her whole family. But if she leaves now, she will have to give up a future with Aaron, and the beautiful town that has always been in her heart…
An utterly uplifting and heart-warming story about forgiveness and family. Perfect for fans of Carolyn Brown, Debbie Macomber and Mary Alice Monroe.
Lily Howard. Even after all these years, it was strange to see her mother’s name in print. Ghostly, like a phrase from a storybook she’d forgotten long ago, or a sound she’d heard when she was fast asleep, so she didn’t know if it was real or not. She’d been only in second grade when her mother died. But she never forgot all the long afternoons they’d spent together in the garden. The recollections weren’t so much stories as flashes, images: her mother in those old denim overalls and dirty Keds sneakers, her brown ponytail shiny like a fancy ribbon on a birthday present; her smile, the way her two front teeth would rest slightly on her bottom lip, making her look a little mischievous, especially when it would rain and she’d pretend it wasn’t so she could continue gardening: “What rain? It’s a sunny day, my sweet Caroline!” She remembered the dirt squiggles and smears that always appeared on her mother’s forehead and chin. And she remembered the afternoon it started to rain as her dad showed up, and he picked up her mom and spun her around. She’d watched her mom throw back her head and laugh as her dad held her and twirled her around and around, under the spring rain shower…
“Caroline?” came a voice from the doorway, and she jumped, sending a geyser of coffee upward from her mug. She spotted Will in the doorway just as she felt a splash—and when she looked down, a grayish-brown splotch was smack on the front of her pale-blue sheath dress.
“Oh, no!” she said, cupping the bottom of the mug with her free hand to prevent any additional drops from landing on her. “Oh, shoot!”
“Let me help,” Will said, striding into her office, his legs so long that he covered the distance to her desk in two steps. He reached over her desk and took the cup. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”
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Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning writer who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels include The Bluebell Girls, The Lilac House, The Last Dreamer, and her newest release, The Lily Garden. She has published hundreds of articles about family, home and relationships in national and regional publications, and also teaches novel writing at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: her husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo! Visit her online at www.BarbaraSolomonJosselsohn.com, @Barbara_Josselsohn_Author (Instagram), @BarbaraJoss (twitter) or Facebook.com/BarbaraSolomonJosselsohnAuthor
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