Here is a bonus for you, if you will…this is a book that was not a scheduled review for me…one that I just squeezed in between all my other ‘required’ reading. I’ve been so tremendously challenged by other books by this author, I knew I wanted to read this one. But…I’d had it on my shelf for awhile, and finally, finally, this past weekend, I took the time and sat down and read…and boy!! What a read! This is one of the books that I knew I absolutely had to tell you about! It wasn’t an easy read, but a very thought provoking one, and one that will stick with me for quite some time.
But, first, to start, here is the bit ‘about the book’
Perennials by Julie Cantrell
Years ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.
Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—grew up safe and secure in Oxford, Mississippi, surrounded by a rich literary history and her mother’s stunning flower gardens. But a shed fire, and the injuries it caused, changed everything. Her older sister, Bitsy, blamed Lovey for the irreparable damage. Bitsy became the homecoming queen and the perfect Southern belle who could do no wrong. All the while, Lovey served as the family scapegoat, always bearing the brunt when Bitsy threw blame her way.
At eighteen, suffocating in her sister’s shadow, Lovey turned down a marriage proposal and fled to Arizona. Free from Bitsy’s vicious lies, she became a successful advertising executive and a weekend yoga instructor, carving a satisfying life for herself. But at forty-five, Lovey is feeling more alone than ever and questioning the choices that led her here.
When her father calls insisting she come home three weeks early for her parents’ 50th anniversary, Lovey is at her wits’ end. She’s about to close the biggest contract of her career, and there’s a lot on the line. But despite the risks, her father’s words, “Family First,” draw her back to the red-dirt roads of Mississippi.
Lovey is quickly engrossed in a secret project—a memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise. But the landscaper who’s also working on it is none other than Fisher, the first boy she ever loved. As she helps create this sacred space, Lovey begins to rediscover her roots, the power of second chances, and how to live perennially in spite of life’s many trials and tragedies.
Now, on to the rest of my review.
This book is one that deals with family. And relationship issues. Lovey (or Eva) has long had a strained relationship with her sister. Her family has always been one to just kind of gloss over those messy, hard things, and try to smooth it all over, make everything look good on the surface. And she hasn’t wanted to go home to her hometown for many years.
Then a call from her parents practically forces her to go back. As she spends time with her family, bit by bit her backstory, their backstory, is revealed. We see what brought Eva to the hard place she’s been at. And what needs to happen.
This book spoke to me, in those deep, inner places in my heart.
I think probably all of us, at least to a certain extent, feel like nobody hears our heart’s cry, or nobody cares…so this is a story that will be relevant to many of you.
Like I said up there –it wasn’t an easy or a light read. At all. But it was so worth it.