Or what about this line from the book? "How do the girls with dreams as big as the world end up old women with regrets?" The Memory Garden is a story of regrets, and forgiveness, friendship lost, ghosts, witches, and memories. It's a story of the secrets women once knew, secrets that made them appear to be witches to some. Those were secrets of flowers and herbs, what to do to save a life or change a life.
Nan and Mavis and Ruthie had once shared a secret, but their friendship had not survived the loss of a fourth friend, Eve. So, Nan calls them home, inviting them so she can reveal her secrets to Bay. But, Mavis and Ruthie have secrets they haven't told Nan. Their arrival seems to stir up unusual events and fears. Bay, a teen confused about her life and her future, is equally confused as to why these women show up. And, why does Eve's great-niece show up, saying she's writing a book? And, who are the ghosts who appear to Bay?
Rickert's debut novel is an unusual story of aging and fear and loss. At the same time, it has powerful messages of hope. Just as flowers can have good and bad usages and messages, people can take different paths. And, sometimes it takes an entire lifetime to understand the direction taken.
The publicist enticed me saying some have compared Rickert's book to Sarah Addison Allen. I don't think so. This is a book with a darker, more haunting side. I'm much more inclined to agree with author Joshilyn Jackson who said of The Memory Garden, "An atmospheric, eerie, and utterly beautiful debut."
Each blogger who participated in the blog tour was sent a flower card. Mine, Honeysuckle, reads,
"Sometimes referred to as 'Love Bind,' the honeysuckle's flowers look like intertwined lovers. Its heady fragrance induces dreams of love and passion. Honeysuckle protects the garden from evil and is considered one of the most important herbs for releasing poisons from the body."
Here are the other bloggers on the blog tour:
Book Bag Lady
Lesa's Book Critiques
The Bibliotaphe Closet
Mary Rickert's website is www.maryrickert.net
The Memory Garden by Mary Rickert. Sourcebooks Landmark. 2014. ISBN 9781402297120 (paperback), 295p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I was sent the book in order to participate in the blog tour.