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The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway

Monday, November 4, 2013

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 her home on a strict schedule.

Only at home, in her garden, does Gal come alive. It's here that she experiments with Hulthemia roses, painstakingly cross-pollinating various specimens in the hopes of creating a brand-new variation of spectacular beauty. But even her passion has a highly structured goal: Gal wants to win Queen of Show in a major competition and bring that rose to market.

Then one afternoon Gal's teenaged niece Riley, the daughter of her estranged sister, arrives. Unannounced. Neither one of them will ever be the same.

Filled with gorgeous details of the art of rose breeding, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns is a testament to the redemptive power of love.

Goodreads Summary

Gal has never enjoyed good health.  She has a life revolving around her job in biology and the very physiology of her failing kidneys.  Her sister, on the other hand, was always healthy and a sore subject for Gal.  When her sister's job finds her overseas, Gal watches her niece and discovers that her day-to-day life will never be the same.

I loved the character development in this novel.  It didn't feel like the author rushed any details or the budding relationship between the character and the reader.  I grew to love Gal over the course of a couple of chapters.  I really liked her stable, nearly OCDlike need for schedule and her quiet love of roses.  Her niece was an interesting character.  I think she helped Gal to grow as much as Gal helped her, as well.  I really liked how realistic their relationship originally felt.  Riley and Gal did not instantaneously get along.  It took a while before each saw each other as worth getting to know.  I would recommend this book to flower lovers and contemporary lovers everywhere.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Anonymous said...:

    This sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing

  1. Susan T. said...:

    I'm not a big fan of contemporary but I do like good characters.

  1. This sounds like a cute read. I love when characters gradually get to know each other. It really does seem more realistic(:

  1. Berenice said...:

    This cover is so, so pretty. Love the colors and the font of the title. I love the sound of The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, sort of quiet and gentle. Fantastic review! =)