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The Garden of Happy Endings: A Novel

The Garden of Happy Endings: A Novel

Escrito por Barbara O'Neal

Narrado por Tanya Eby


The Garden of Happy Endings: A Novel

Escrito por Barbara O'Neal

Narrado por Tanya Eby

valoraciones:
4.5/5 (40 valoraciones)
Longitud:
12 horas
Publicado:
Jul 9, 2013
ISBN:
9781480511842
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descripción

In Barbara O'Neal's novel of hope and renewal, two very different sisters discover that life is like a garden: Tend to it daily, nourish it with patience and optimism, and then watch the beauty unfold.

After tragedy shatters her small community in Seattle, the Reverend Elsa Montgomery has a crisis of faith. Returning to her hometown of Pueblo, Colorado, she seeks work in a local soup kitchen. Preparing nourishing meals for folks in need, she keeps her hands busy while her heart searches for understanding.

Meanwhile, her sister, Tamsin, as pretty and colorful as Elsa is unadorned and steadfast, finds her perfect life shattered when she learns that her financier husband is a criminal. Enduring shock and humiliation as her beautiful house and possessions are seized, the woman who had everything now has nothing but the clothes on her back.

But when the going gets tough, the tough get growing. A community garden in the poorest, roughest part of town becomes a lifeline. Creating a place of hope and sustenance opens Elsa and Tamsin to the renewing power of rich earth, sunshine, and the warm cleansing rain of tears. While Elsa finds her heart blooming in the care of a rugged landscaper, Tamsin discovers the joy of losing herself in the act of giving-and both women discover that with time and care, happy endings flourish.

Publicado:
Jul 9, 2013
ISBN:
9781480511842
Formato:
Audiolibro

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4.3
40 valoraciones / 21 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed it very much. The characters were quite real, and well developed. Usually I don't like switching from character to character, but I didn't mind in this book
  • (5/5)
    I received this book as a free Early Reviewers giveaway and enjoyed every moment reading it. I think I may have even found a new favorite author. I loved the depth of this book. It explored love and relationship from some very fresh perspectives. It explored young love just beginning, an old relationship that is at the end of the road, a relationship that was lost may years ago and the strength that comes from building a relationship on friendship. While this story tackles some very intense subjects, it was a joy to read. I kept turning the pages hooked on what would happen next. I highly recommend this book!
  • (4/5)
    Another "LT" free book. This book was a joy to read, its about Elsa who is a Unity minister, and she has to deal with a crisis of faith, she finally makes peace with it. Faith based it allows you to realize that even those of us who are deep believers can reach our lows. Would recommend this book to anyone, I also look forward into reading other books by this author.
  • (5/5)
    Another winner from one of my favorite authors. Reverend Elsa Montgomery is going through a crisis of faith after the brutal murder of a young parishioner. She's so angry that God would allow such an unspeakable act that she's not sure she can continue as a minister. She takes a sabbatical from her Seattle church and goes home to Pueblo, Colorado to work through things. When she gets there she finds her sister Tamsin going through a life-changing upheaval of her own. Her missing husband has been charged with running a Ponzi scheme that stole millions. She finds herself homeless, penniless and not sure where to turn. Elsa and Tamsin wind up living in the small house where they grew up. Elsa reconnects with the parish priest who also happens to be her former boyfriend. He broke off their engagement twenty years earlier when he had a calling to the priesthood. They managed to stay friends and kept in touch over the years. Ultimately he becomes the catalyst to Elsa finding her way back to her faith. Through him she meets many people (wonderful primary and secondary characters) who help her along the way.Tamsin has lived a life of privilege but is now happy to accept a job in the fabric department at Walmart. She also helps out with a new community garden program at the parish. She learns that she may not have been as happy or content in her old life as she thought. In fact, she realizes how lonely her life had become. Watching both women find their way on such personal journeys made for an emotional reading experience.Barbara O'Neal is a wonderful storyteller. Her characters and story truly resonated with me. I can't ask for more than that.
  • (3/5)
    This book was just ok to me. I really liked the subject of the whole book, but I just could not follow the story. It jumped around so much that I could not keep the characters straight. I really wanted to like it more than I did.
  • (3/5)
    After tragedy shatters her small community in Seattle, the Reverend Elsa Montgomery has a crisis of faith. Returning to her hometown of Pueblo, Colorado, she seeks work in a local soup kitchen. Preparing nourishing meals for folks in need, she keeps her hands busy while her heart searches for understanding. Meanwhile, her sister, Tamsin, as pretty and colorful as Elsa is unadorned and steadfast, finds her perfect life shattered when she learns that her financier husband is a criminal. Enduring shock and humiliation as her beautiful house and possessions are seized, the woman who had everything now has nothing but the clothes on her back. But the two sisters are strong and their involvement in the local church's community garden in a very poor part of town allows them to heal and make decisions about moving on with their lives. (Amazon desc.)This was a pleasant read and allows the reader an inside look at the life of a Catholic priest. Much of the book explores the power of faith and how it affects people differently. The characters were very likeable and the plot kept me reading until the very end. I would recommend this book to readers who are looking for a "feel good" book and who are comfortable with discussions about faith and religion.
  • (4/5)
    This is a beautiful story about hope and faith ! When a horrible tragedy occurs it shakes the faith of a minister . Rev. Elsa goes back to her hometown to find solace and rebuild her faith . The story also gives a new life for Elsa's sister Tasmin . I loved this story ! It was so heartwarming to read a story about renewal of faith without being "too preachy" . I will definitely look into the author's other books ! This one is now one of my faves !
  • (4/5)
    I finally received this book that I won through Librarything. This is a book about hope and renewal. Reverend Elsa Montgomery has a crisis of faith and turns to the one person from her past to help her make sense of her feelings. The only problem is he is also a priest and they used to be in love. They both have to work out their feelings while staying strong for others around them. This was a decent read but not one I couldn't put down.
  • (5/5)
    Plain and simple, I loved this story. Even beyond the evil lurking and causing tragic outcomes in a few cases, the love and hope is strong and palpable. Most of the characters are dealing with a crisis of faith, searching for God, and the reason that evil happens, but it does not get preachy. This book is a winner and I look forward to Barbara O'Neal's next book.
  • (4/5)
    When a horrific murder happens to one of the members of her church, Elsa, a Unity minister, questions her faith even as she tries to help her congregation heal. After a number of months, she decides to take a leave of absence and return to her hometown to rest and try to decide if she will remain a minister. There she reunites with Joaquin, who was once her fiancé until he decided to become a priest and now ministers at the local Catholic church. Soon she’s involved with the church soup kitchen and trying to start a community garden even while she still struggles with her faith. I really enjoyed the writing style of the author and look forward to reading more of her books.
  • (4/5)
    I picked up this book because of the author, having no idea what it was about, but knowing it would have a dog or two. Another delightful read! The subject matter was a bit more heavy than her other books, but it was well handled and never preachy. I thoroughly enjoyed every character and definitely felt that this book was/is very personal to the author.
  • (5/5)
    I thoroughly enjoy Barbara O'Neal's books and I've read all of them so this was a happy surprise---a new one! I was a little concerned about the religious flavor but it turned out to be a wonderful story from beginning to end. O'Neal knows how to tell a story, full of great characters (and with unusual names!), descriptive details of food and surroundings---you can picture everything happening.
  • (5/5)
    I enjoyed The Garden of Happy Endings by Barbara O’Neal. I thought the characters she created were honest, real-to-life characters. I liked the way the past was tied into the present. You could feel the ache of the life missed out on but also the hope for the future and that there was purpose in the story. It was a little more substantial then a light read but was a story you can get lost in and want to continue reading to find out what happens.
  • (3/5)
    This is a well written story of two women facing life changing events and it is the tale of how each deals with the challenges they face. The two main characters are sisters and they appear to have a genuinely wonderful relationship. The entire story holds the reader's interest and I would gladly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, down-to-earth story. I am pleased to have received this book from LibraryThing.
  • (5/5)
    Elsa, growing up in the Catholic faith, always wanted to become a priest. When she was not allowed to do that she eventually left the church and became a minister in a Unitarian church. She has turned her back on God after her faith is challenged, more than once, the last time by the murder of a young girl in her congregation. After taking a leave of absence she goes back to the house she grew up in, in Pueblo, Colorado where she can reflect on her past and make a decision about her future vocational path. She learns how to help others by working in a soup kitchen, run by her old friend Father Jack at his church and creates a vegetable garden for the community's impoverished residents. When her sister Tasmin loses her house and everything in it due to her husband's Ponzi scheme, she moves into the old house with her sister Elsa. Despite their diverse lifestyles, they begin to grow and mature as they question their past and try to find new meaning to their lives.
  • (5/5)
    This is the story of 2 women, both grappling with problems that seem too huge to overcome. The first is Elsa, a minister who has lost her faith in everything she believes in after the death of one of the members of her congregation. The other character is her sister, Tamsin, who loses everything when her husband disappears. She finds out he is wanted for criminal charges for running a ponzi scheme and the house and all of their possessions are seized. The characters seem so real and the storyline so engaging that it was hard to put the book down. I believe this is her best story yet.... definitely a must read!
  • (4/5)
    I have to agree with previous reviewers on this one; this book was a lot more than I expected, and was wonderful to read. I don't really "do" the religion thing, but this was so well written and not preachy; even I could relate to the struggles with faith. I loved that the native American culture was even included to some degree. In the end, I found myself sad that the story must end; it was one of those that I did not want to put down. I'm happy to have another author to add to my new favorites!
  • (5/5)
    Every once in a while you come across a book that exceeds expectations. The type of book that makes you eager to read everything by that author. The Garden of Happy Endings by Barbara O'Neal is beyond wonderful. The stunning writing, the rich characters, the aching loss and tearful joy woven into this novel reveals an author with a keen eye and true heart. The novel explores the richness of human faith paired with the depths of despair, and in the end, always hope. I want to recommend it to everyone I know!
  • (5/5)
    This novel was not at all what I expected it to be—it was more, more interesting, more heartfelt, and more delicious. Elsa and Joaquin have been life long friends; she is a Reverend at a Seattle Washington Unity church and he is a Catholic priest in Pueblo, Colorado where they grew up. When a horrific murder happens in Washington, Elsa begins to question God and all that she believes. Struggling through her grief, she takes a leave of absence to move home to Pueblo to be near Joaquin and her sister Tasmin. But Tasmin’s life is also in turmoil, her wealthy husband is away on business and not returning her phone calls, and her only daughter is traveling alone in Spain. To keep her mind busy, she speaks with Father Joaquin about turning a vacant rundown gang infested lot across from the church into a community garden. Elsa volunteers to work in the soup kitchen and wants to help get the garden ready for spring planting. Now for the more: Elsa has great dog, and one of the men helping with the garden rescues dogs, and the kids from the low income housing are touchingly poignant. There is also danger and blossoming romances, and did I tell you about the yummy cooking with recipes. This is the first novel I’ve read by Barbara O’Neal, just ordered another. This easy read gets a 5 star rating. It does have a little sensuality and some violence but not out of context with the story. I reviewed this through Amazon Vine.
  • (5/5)
    Wow, what a thought provoking book this is. Elsa is a minister in a Seattle church who finds herself questioning her calling after the murder of one of her parishioners. Elsa has had a long history of being disappointed by God, starting with her run in with a misogynist Catholic priest in her youth.After being told by her church council that she needs to take a sabbatical, she ends up working with her lifelong friend, Joaquin, now a priest in their home town. She has a history with Father Jack, which led to one of her breaks with God, but they have both worked through it... or so they think. Elsa finds herself working on a community garden and developing an attraction to Deacon, the landscaper who is helping the church set up the garden.I read this book the same week a young child was killed in a horrific accident in our state. I had a discussion with two co-workers about how hard I found it to believe that God would have a plan for us that could include such a terrible thing. Elsa has the same questions in this book. She has kept her faith in God for most of her life even when it has been hard to do so-she has turned her back on Him but came back every time. I think that Ms. O’Neal does an excellent job in portraying the anguish that a person with a religious calling would have when they question whether their own faith is strong enough to keep going. That said the book is hopeful and positive even as Elsa is struggling.There is a side plot involving Tamsin, Elsa’s sister who loses everything overnight when her financier husband disappears and is subsequently discovered to have bilked people out of millions of dollars. Tamsin has a crisis of physical loss-she has no money, no home, no job and no hope of getting any of those things in the immediate future. Her daughter is overseas and has no idea of what is happening so Tamsin has the additional burden of keeping her circumstance a secret from her own child. As always, Ms. O’Neal gives us a story with many layers that we can relate to even if our situation is not the same as the main character. Her characters survive life’s vagaries and find their own brand of happiness. Isn’t that what we all strive for?
  • (5/5)
    Reverend Elsa Montgomery has faced challenges to her spiritual beliefs on more than one occasion, but has always managed to find her touchstone. This time, a shocking death in her own church community triggers a crisis of faith that sends her from Seattle, WA back to her hometown of Pueblo, CO. Shaken and disillusioned, Elsa turns to her sister, Tamsin, and her dear friend, Father Jake. Working in a soup kitchen and tending a communal garden help her to find a sense of peace in keeping busy and helping others. When Tamsin's world comes unglued, and she is forced to move in with Elsa, the two quite different women must resolve their own personal issues. Elsa's heart finds wings when she meets Deacon McCoy, a handsome landscaping expert who lends his expertise to the garden project. In my own personal life, I savor the exquisite simplicity of sun-warmed earth, the pull of a needle through cloth to make a quilt, and the satisfaction of nurturing others through the preparation and serving of needed sustenance. All of these elements come together in author Barbara O'Neal's "The Garden of Happy Endings: A Novel". There is also a richly rewarding sense of healed hearts, renewed faith, and hope for lasting love and happiness. Readers are also treated to a delightful little recipe section--and let me say this about that "Chicken & Dumplings recipe: Oh, my goodness!!! I look forward to reading more lovely works from Barbara O'Neal. Review Copy Gratis Amazon Vine