Saturday, June 16, 2012
Review: Betty's (Little Basement) Garden
Betty's (Little Basement) Garden by Laurel Dewey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Info: Genre: Literary/Medical fiction Reading Level: Adult
Disclosure: I received a free paperback from the author’s publicist, as well as being approved for an eGalley from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: 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: Thanks to Marian Brown, PR, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book! And I now know exactly how to process cannabis into oils; fascinating information. I also learned that, even if I were to live in a state which legalized the herb, there is no way I could grow it; I can’t keep cactus, aloe vera or geraniums alive, all of which are supposed to be exceptionally hardy plants, so I’m sure any attempt to grow it would end in disaster. I learned about all sorts of things related to medical cannabis, in short, and was absolutely fascinated by this book. Ms. Dewey obviously did a lot of very careful research on this book.
Watching Betty’s epiphany and growth was amazing – she is very similar to my late mother in a lot of ways. That is, very accommodating to her husband, always focused on working, pushing and taking care of others whilst ignoring herself and worried about what people would think all the time. Fortunately, my dad is not like Frank, Sr.! Anyway, the way Betty changes is how I like to think my own mother would have changed had she been given the opportunity. I found it particularly interesting that all these things take place in Betty’s life not long after her 2nd Saturn Return – the time in one’s life, occurring about every 28 years, when Saturn returns to the house in which it was when one was born. This frequently accompanies a sea change in a person’s life and thought processes.
One of the major themes in this book is about following your own path, breaking away from expectations, and finding your bliss. A quote from Peyton expresses this really well: “I’d rather live my life honestly, than spend it adapting to what others think I should be.. This is very much how I’ve always lived my own life (much to the chagrin of my mother while she was still alive). I think this is partially why I so enjoyed this story; that and having learned so many new things about medical cannabis use. This is a book everyone should read and think about, an issue I truly believe in, and something I believe more people should learn about. Read this book!
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