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The Garden of Happy Endings: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Barbara O'Neal

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8926135,585 (4.12)6
Member:jenniandtony
Title:The Garden of Happy Endings: A Novel
Authors:Barbara O'Neal
Info:Bantam (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:2012, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Garden of Happy Endings by Barbara O'Neal

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Barbara O'Neal creates fabulous characters who are real and believeable. This book truly did not disappoint. In this story, Elsa, and ordained Reverand for Unity Church experiences a profound loss of faith. She returns to the home of her youth and attempts to face her demons. Her sister Tamsin lives in an ivory tower until her world crumbles; she ends up searching for the lost meaning in her own life. To me, all of Barbara's books (both under her current name O'Neal and her previous name Samuel)are realistic fiction, bordering on mystical fantasy. I believe she ranks up there as one of my favorite authors. ( )
  Dmtcer | May 4, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Overall I really enjoyed both the characters and the way the book was written, however, I really feel like the book was very misleading on the back cover summary. It doesn't mention ANYTHING on the back about religion and faith and that is what the entire book is based on. Also, I found it to be quite bothersome that this was written and the woman is a "minister" and speaks about sleeping around and has a sexual relationship before marriage in the story line. As someone who is familiar with the Unity religion, it doesn't surprise me, but this book makes it seem that the Bible allows this type of behavior, which is completely untrue. That is something the Unity church "allows" as that religion tends to pick and choose parts of the Bible they agree with. I would have much rather known about this being part of the story so I could have chosen to read or decline to read it based on both Catholicism and Unity being a major part of the story line.
I would be open to reading another book from this author because based on other reviews it seems she doesn't always write this way. But felt almost tricked into reading this one because of the misleading summary. ( )
  booksandbutter | Aug 25, 2014 |
While this was an interesting sorry, I'm glad I read a couple of her other books first. The main plot focused too much on religion and her struggles with her faith. However, her other books don't touch on the subject at all and were a much more enjoyable read. ( )
  patrish | Apr 19, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I have to agree with many of the other reviews. This was an enjoyable book. It was my favorite kind of books - one where the characters go through a ton, but learn a ton from their experience. It was well written and the characters were real, interesting, and likable. I look forward to other book by this author, because I also really enjoyed, The Lost Recipe for Happiness. O'Neal seems to have a way of creating awesome characters and I can't to find more of them.
  traciragas | Apr 27, 2013 |
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 ( )
  ShannaRedwind | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
To all mis chicas peregrinas who walked the Camino with me, especially Anne Pinder who led us, Betsy May, who got it all rolling, and Mary Strand who corralled me into walking. Thanks to Bethany Barber, who sang the most glorious Ave Maria at Monte do Gozo, bringing us all to tears, and her mother, Brenda, for long talks about writing and love, and Sharyn Gerniglia who walked on bloody feet just like a medieval pilgrim. Love to Jean and Chris, Caroline and Rhonda. I'm honored to know you all.
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The second time Elsa turned her back on God, it was raining.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553386786, Paperback)

From Barbara O’Neal, beloved author of How to Bake a Perfect Life and The Lost Recipe for Happiness, comes another magical, heartfelt novel—perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah and Susan Wiggs.
 
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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:19 -0400)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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