Wednesday, April 29, 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman

I'm very excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman. I received a free copy for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so much to Graydon House and Viola Shipman (who I just found out is a pen name based on the author's grandma) for letting me be a part of this fun tour!

Title: The Heirloom Garden
Author: Viola Shipman
Published by: Graydon House
Released: April 28, 2020
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Synopsis: In her inimitable style, Viola Shipman explores the unlikely relationship between two very different women brought together by the pain of war, but bonded by hope, purpose…and flowers.
Iris Maynard lost her husband in World War II, her daughter to illness and, finally, her reason to live. Walled off from the world for decades behind the towering fence surrounding her home, Iris has built a new family…of flowers. Iris propagates her own daylilies and roses while tending to a garden filled with the heirloom starts that keep the memories of her loved ones alive.
When Abby Peterson moves next door with her family—a husband traumatized by his service in the Iraq War and a young daughter searching for stability—Iris is reluctantly yet inevitably drawn into her boisterous neighbor’s life, where, united by loss and a love of flowers, she and Abby tentatively unearth their secrets, and help each other discover how much life they have yet to live.
With delightful illustrations and fascinating detail, Viola Shipman’s heartwarming story will charm readers while resonating with issues that are so relevant today. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: What a sweet and pure story. I really enjoyed this tale of friendship and healing. Iris has pretty much given up on the world, it has brought her nothing but pain. She lost her husband, her child, and decides to wall herself away and not let anyone get close enough to lose.
Iris is pretty obsessed with her flowers. They have become her babies, her family, her everything. The way that she loves her garden is intense. I'm glad that she found something that she could be passionate about, but Iris's level of loving flowers is to the extreme. Iris hides herself behind her walls and inside her garden until a curious new neighbor takes notice.
I really liked how Iris was able to open herself up to her neighbors who were also struggling. It was a great story of friendship and camaraderie. Iris needed to care about people again.
Abby is also in need of some help. With a husband struggling with PTSD, she needs someone to lean on. It's really quite sweet how these two women find each other and help each other.
I really enjoyed the writing style and storytelling, it was just a sweet read. I also really enjoyed the setting as well as all the descriptions of the flowers.
This was a very sweet story about friendship. It made me feel happy while reading it. I enjoyed it.

Message From the Author:

Dear Reader:

Does your garden tell a story? Mine does. And it’s the inspiration behind my new novel, The Heirloom Garden, which explores the unlikely relationship between two very different women brought together by the pain of war, but bonded by hope, purpose … and flowers.
My grandma was a grand gardener, and many of her original flowers (like her perfumed peonies!) now live in my garden. Each has a memory that reminds me of family. If you love multigenerational sagas filled with hope and history (this explores WWII Victory Gardens, and 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of WWII’s end), love to garden or just love books and flowers, The Heirloom Garden is the spring “pick” for you!
I consider The Heirloom Garden to be my richest, deepest, and most moving work to date. It explores how loss and loneliness affect us, how we cope and – too often – how we don’t. As an author, I always start my novels notwith an heirloom in mind, or certain character, but a question. In this novel, my questions were, “What makes us isolate ourselves from the world? And what gives us hope?” In the novel, two women scarred by war – World War II and the Iraq War – are united by loss and a love of flowers. In my case, much of the pain I explore in the novel is real: My brother died when he was just 17, still a child in so many ways, and his loss had a profound impact on me and my family. How we healed, how we came together, how we found faith – and each other – again is a huge part of this novel.
2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II (on August 15, 1945, Japan surrendered, with documents signed on the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri on September 2, officially ending the war). In addition, The Heirloom Garden also explores the history of Victory Gardens and their importance in America and World War II. Thousands of gardens were started in cities, large and small, all across America – women leading the charge – and they helped feed their own families and communities as well as our troops and allies. Today’s resurgence of urban and community gardens is a legacy of those Victory Gardens.
Like my previous book, The Summer Cottage – which was the #1 bestselling novel in Michigan last year – I am honored to be able to write novels that are inspired by my grandmothers’ and mom’s heirlooms, lives, lessons and love. The multigenerational family sagas I write are meant to serve as a universal tribute to our elders, whose stories and sacrifices helped shape us and make us the people we are today. And in these turbulent times, my novels are meant to remind us what matters most in life. It is readers like you who constantly remind me what matters most. Thank you for your support, and I truly hope you love The Heirloom Garden.

Thanks so much for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman. Thanks so much to the publisher and Viola Shipman for letting me be a part of this fun tour. If this book sounds like something you'd enjoy, I'd definitely recommend giving it a read.

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