Betty’s (Little Basement) Garden by Laurel Dewey
Published by The Story Plant
At the request of The Story Plant (Spread The Word Initiative, an ARC EBook edition was provided, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.
Synopsis (from publisher): Betty Craven is the epitome of elegance, class, and perfection. Her prize-winning garden is the envy of her neighbors; her impeccable manners and epicurean skills have made her the “hostess with the most-est.”
But all is not what it seems.
The truth is that this fifty-eight year old’s seemingly idyllic world is quickly disintegrating. Widowed and left with a modest income, Betty’s Colorado gourmet chocolate shop has gone belly up, leaving her floundering for purpose and meaning. Tied to a house in disrepair that she can’t sell, and mired in unrelenting grief for her dead son, this patriotic former Texas pageant queen comes to the shocking and debilitating conclusion that her entire life has been wasted. As that realization hits her hard between her well-manicured brow, the rebellious spirit that Betty has silently kept under lock and key, explodes to the surface.
When that happens, her staunch conservative world changes drastically, causing Betty to question every belief and opinion she’s ever had. The path she chooses is paved with secrecy, eccentric characters, toe-curling love, life-changing events, and a connection to her unconventional garden that she never could have imagined. No matter how hard she tries, Betty Craven will never be the same again.
My Thoughts and Opinion: Where do I start? There were so many components within this book. A fictional story, an extraordinary amount of compiled research, factual statistics, educational, instructions; personal development, values, moral, social, and some governmental issues, life lessons, friendships, relationships, principal passions, and even a very little bit of spiritual/paranormal. This is definitely recommended and a must read if you are in a book club due to the multiple and vast discussions that this book will trigger. I tend to write reviews that are concise but I just can’t with this book and I apologize in advance and will try to touch upon all the aspects that this book offers.
The author and the fictional side: I was first introduced to this author during a Partners In Crime Tours, reading her Jane Perry novelettes, Unrevealed and Promissory Payback, which I enjoyed. This book is so different compared to those stories, premise wise, about a topic that has many pros, cons, truths and fallacies but the writing style the same. Solid, fluid, descriptive, life like character development with palpable emotions, flaws and relatability. The settings likewise. It was very easy to create my imagery due to the depictions and narrative picture the author conveyed with her written words. The actual plot and story line will definitely have the reader turning the pages.
As a former nurse, I found the subject matter quite interesting, to the point that due to the accumulation of detailed facts and gathering of related material evidence, it was also an education. A lesson, that created some very personal thought provoking questions, a different mind set and possibly a change of personal opinion.
The plot with reality slant: Engrossing!! Are we being told the truth by our government, lobbyists, politicians, pharmaceutical companies? With the information, that the author has done an enormous amount of research on and shares with the reader, makes one wonder? This is one part of the book that I can’t stress enough. Ms. Dewey, definitely did her homework with the collection of facts. However, at times, it was so minutely described and technical that, and this is my opinion only, that it took on a bit of a non fictional story.
With that being said, the overall book was compelling, emotional, at times humorous, controversial, heart wrenching, inspirational, and definitely leaves the reader confronting one’s own personal viewpoint after the last word is read. Highly recommend!!
(2012 Challenges: EBook, Off The Shelf, FreeReads, Where Are You, A-Z, 52 in 52, Outdo Yourself, 100+)