Friday, July 27, 2012

The Care and Handling of Roses With Thorns

Margaret Dilloway's second novel, The Care and Handling of Roses With Thorns is one I have been looking forward to, even though her first novel is still sitting on my TBR stack. 
I was excited to receive this title through Amazon Vine, and enjoyed it very much.
The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway is a great women's fiction selection. Gal is suffering from kidney failure and awaiting another transplant (this will be her third). Always solitary, her life revolves around her health and her parents have always placed their attention and focus on her. She and her sister, Becky, are not close and Gal hasn't seen her or her niece, Riley, in years.

At first I found Gal difficult to like. Her obsession in life is her gardening of roses- growing and breeding new varieties- and I couldn't help but find her personality as thorny and prickly as the plants she loved. Yet, there is still something a bit likeable about Gal, a woman who has had her share of struggles.
When her niece shows up to live with her, Gal is finally forced to share a bit of her life and her hard exterior begins to crack. Although this is a bit predictable, her interactions with Riley and the changes they both go through also seemed realistic.

I loved this novel and will be reading Dilloway's first book soon, since I have not yet done that. I enjoyed this novel from beginning to end and think Dilloway's ending was perfect - I was left with resolution but was also allowed to do a bit of my own imagining of how Gal's life continued.

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