Coming in August 2012
Rights have sold to German publisher Goldmann (Bertelsmann/Random House)
Advance praise for The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns…
“I was captivated from the very first page. This uplifting novel about family and forgiveness brought me to both laughter and tears. By the end of this honest, engaging journey, I had grown to love all of the characters and was left with a new appreciation of the fragility and beauty of our daily happiness.”
“Rapturous. To say I loved this book is an understatement.”
–Caroline Leavitt, New York Times-bestselling author of Pictures of You
“Galilee Garner is as prickly, thorny, and gracefully sweet as one of her prize roses. And her supporting characters bloom with their own quirks and virtues. A fun and uplifting read.”
–Tiffany Baker, New York Times-bestselling author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
Thirty-six year old Gal Garner lives a regimented life. Her job teaching biology and her struggle with kidney disease keep her toggling between the high school, the hospital, and home on a strict schedule. Only at home, in her gardens, does Gal come alive. But even her passion, rose breeding, has a tangible and highly structured goal: Gal wants to create a new breed of rose, win Queen of Show in a major competition, and bring that rose to market…
Then one afternoon Gal’s niece Riley, the daughter of her estranged sister, arrives.
Unannounced. And their lives will never be the same…
More about how THE CARE AND HANDLING came to be:
One day while we lived in Hawaii, I decided I wanted to grow a rose. But Hawaii isn’t in the proper zone for roses, which require a cold period to rest and recuperate. Then I wondered how new roses are created– which led to the whole rose breeding storyline.
Gal is inspired by my sister-in-law, Deb, who had three kidney transplants. She was diagnosed at age 4 with reflux of the kidneys, which ruined them. Throughout her life she accomplished more than most healthy people do, holding down a full-time teaching job, earning a Master’s in Chemistry, traveling extensively, and volunteering for her favorite baseball team as an usher. She passed away in December 2011.
The caretaking storyline comes from similar situations we had in our family. My husband and I, when I was only 23, assumed temporary guardianship of my husband’s 13-year-old nephew. Deborah assumed guardianship of his younger brother a few years later. It was an experience to suddenly be a de-facto parent to a teenager after not being a parent at all, so that’s what I tried to get across in the novel.