Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Garden Angel by Mindy Friddle

Cutter, a waitress and obituary writer, was using the toilet, minding her own business, when she found out that her sister, Ginnie, was pregnant, which was no surprise considering her affair with Daniel, a married man. No problem - Cutter will keep right on minding her own business, but when Elizabeth, Daniel's scorned, emotionally fragile wife shows up on Cutter's doorstep, things get a little complicated. And it's not as if Cutter doesn't already have enough to deal with - she's trying to keep her house, property that's been in the family for generations, out of the clutches of potential buyers.

I could say that this is a quirky tale, but that wouldn't really express the emotional depth that takes place during Friddle's eloquent novel. The way the women come together - especially at the end - is triumphant, and the way some other relationships fall apart is heartbreaking. My summary doesn't include all of the intricate elements, or characters, that this story contains.

I read this novel in the depths of a horrible depression, and it was a comfort, which is saying a lot. Many of the passages reflected back to me my own feelings at the time, so much so that I wanted to copy them down. If you're in any type of emotional pain, this novel will help pull you through it, at least for a brief time. - 5 stars

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