The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman
Publication date: April 28, 2020
Pages: 448 pages
Genre: Contemporary fiction, Michigan, Gardening
Rating: 3.5/5 stars ✰✰✰✰
Strengths: Heartwarming plot, gardening details, likable characters
Weaknesses: Complex problems seem to solve really easily
This was truly such a great book. The characters were warm and likable, and I could totally feel the Michigan-ness. Having spent some time on the shores of Lake Michigan, it was great to imagine living there through this book.
In a nutshell, Abby, Cory, and Lily start renting a small lakefront house from Iris Maynard. Iris is an old woman surrounded by lots of rumors about why she's a recluse living alone in her old house with very high fences. The story is told from the viewpoints of Abby and Iris.
Iris's character development was my favorite, but I'd bet that's a pretty popular opinion. She starts out cranky and guarded, and of course comes around through her relationship with the new neighbors. While I was happy to see how Cory evolved, it seemed a little too quick to be 'real,' if that makes sense. I felt the whole book sort of lagged near the end, but the surprise changes at the end made it well worth it.
Overall, I'd give this book 3.5/5 stars. I saw someone else mention that this was one of their favorite authors. I'd definitely be happy to check out another book by her. This one was engaging and uplifting.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for sharing this book with me in exchange for my honest review.