Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Leota's Garden

This is the fourth book by Francine Rivers I have read. Francine is a writer of Christian books and her biography is here. One of my daughters has a lot of her books so I just borrow them off her when I need to have a read as you generally don't find them in public libraries.

Francine Rivers
Leota's Garden is a lovely story on relationships with a families and in the story, between an old woman living with secrets form the past that had not been shared so as to protect the feelings of some but it them meant that others formed wrong opinions and so then relationships with each other.

"Leota is 84, lonely and frail. She has a daughter and a son who don't even call her. When her husband was stationed in Germany during WWII, Leota was forced to move in with his parents, and her mother-in-law had deeply ingrained it into Leota's children's heads that their mother was selfish and didn't care for them. Anything Leota did was wrong. She worked six days a week to support the kids, but that was interpreted as thinking only about her career. She had a garden she loved to tend, which, once again, was viewed as a selfish pleasure, as time spent on herself rather than devoted to the kids. So the children, Nora and George, grew up believing that their mother was no good and didn't love them. Now they repay her by rarely seeing her.

Nora has two children of her own, Annie and Michael. From the start, she was determined to be the opposite of Leota, to be a “good mother” to them. That, to her, means being heavily involved in anything they do, controlling their every step, making choices for them – in other words, totally domineering their life. The slightest rebellion is viewed as horrible ingratitude. And, of course, the children are not allowed to spend time with Leota, their “bad,” uncaring grandma.

One day Annie rebels. She loves to draw and wants to become an artist, but Nora has chosen a different path for her. Tired of having her mother run her life, Annie packs her things and, instead of going to the prestigious college Nora enrolled her in, drives off to San Francisco where she intends to take art courses. After this first step towards freedom and self-establishment, Annie begins to wonder about Leota, her Grandma she had never gotten to know. Annie decides to meet Leota and see for herself what she is like."

Laura Southcombe, Resident Scholar

I really enjoyed this book and have learnt that we so easily form our own opinions on things with out fully knowing the whole story and I was challenged to not be quick to judge so to speak.

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