Iris Maynard lives her life fenced off from everyone- literally. After losing her husband in WWII and her daughter years later to polio, she never leaves her home. Iris instead finds safety and solace in her garden, gently tending to and nurturing her plants. When the Peterson family moves in next door, Iris finds it harder and harder to be alone.
Abby Peterson is a chemical engineer, mom to Lily, and wife to Cory. Cory has returned home from war after fighting in Iraq, struggling immensely with PTSD. Lily, 7 years old, is my favorite character. She is kind and curious, and becomes the piece that links the families together.
This book alternates between the late 1940s and 2003. Iris is a botanist, a career that was rare for a woman in those days. She was faced with many challenges in her career, which only added to her heartache of losing her family. She becomes very well known among gardeners for her gorgeous hybrid flowers, but a huge misunderstanding causes her to wall off not only her plants, but herself to the outside world. Abby is working to name and develop special marine paints for her company and is also faced with issues in the workplace due to being a woman in a male-driven field.
The author gave very educated descriptions of the plants that bordered on a little too much for me at times but if you love gardening or flowers you will appreciate all of the details! This is a story of grieving and loss, but also of love, hope, friendship, and family. Definitely have your tissues ready when you read this one!
The Heirloom Garden will be published on April 28. Thank you to Harlequin Trade/Netgalley/Graydon House for my copy and for letting me take part in this blog tour!
For more information on the author or the book check out these links below.
Author Website: https://www.violashipman.com/