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Publisher's Summary

In Barbara O’Neal’s novel of hope and renewal, two very different sisters discover that life is like a garden: Tend to it daily, nourish it with patience and optimism, and then watch the beauty unfold.

After tragedy shatters her small community in Seattle, the Reverend Elsa Montgomery has a crisis of faith. Returning to her hometown of Pueblo, Colorado, she seeks work in a local soup kitchen. Preparing nourishing meals for folks in need, she keeps her hands busy while her heart searches for understanding.

Meanwhile, her sister, Tamsin, as pretty and colorful as Elsa is unadorned and steadfast, finds her perfect life shattered when she learns that her financier husband is a criminal. Enduring shock and humiliation as her beautiful house and possessions are seized, the woman who had everything now has nothing but the clothes on her back.

But when the going gets tough, the tough get growing. A community garden in the poorest, roughest part of town becomes a lifeline. Creating a place of hope and sustenance opens Elsa and Tamsin to the renewing power of rich earth, sunshine, and the warm cleansing rain of tears. While Elsa finds her heart blooming in the care of a rugged landscaper, Tamsin discovers the joy of losing herself in the act of giving - and both women discover that with time and care, happy endings flourish.

©2012 Barbara Samuel (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Garden of Happy Endings

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  • Overall
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Excellent Story and Narration

I loved this story, so thoughtful and enjoyable. Loved the three women and each of their stories. There search and exploration of what makes them happy was important. I especially appreciated Elsa's journey - her spiritual one and her search for her partner in life.

Narration was perfect. Made this story even more enjoyable. Great pacing, lovely variation of voice for various characters.

2 people found this helpful

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Spiritually Stunted

I really loved the premise of this book and I thought that it could have been a serious exploration of losing faith. But it wasn't. The characters were there, the plot was set, and yet it stayed on the surface, never delving into the philosophy of a spiritual crisis. Barbara O'Neal's writing, especially her realistic dialogue, was very good and the narration by Tanya Eby was spot on. I just feel liked the author missed the opportunity to go deeper.

3 people found this helpful

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more intense

So far I have liked most of Barbara's books, however, using the subject matter of religion as a major theme, made this one a sore subject for me. This book was a lot more intense...not easy listening and I found myself just wanting it to be over and several times almost stopped listening to it. There were too many intense complications going on varying from embezzlement and and societal differences and accepted marriages, plus dealing with gang violence, murder, rape, the death and mutilation of her 1st subject p?plus 2 other women that were attacked and it was not brought around where anyone serves Justice or learned from their mistakes. They were all heavy subject matters and I feel it would have been best if the book would have limited it to Maybe a couple of issues that were that intense. So overall, it was not my favorite book. Definitely not a feel good read!

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Good book

It seemed diversionary to end this book with recipes. The story was nice, the religious theme was not enhanced with recipes.

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It was alright

This has been my least favorite Barbara O’Neal novel. I think it must be an early one. She didn’t use contractions and so the prose and speech were stilted.
Things all worked out very easily as if she were afraid to let anything happen. I enjoyed it for what it was but , it was just okay.

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the narration is horrible

I couldn't focus on the story because the narrator sounds like so.eo e doing g a sales pitch or a commercial. it was awful.

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Struggling with faith, concluding there’s always goodness and hope mixed with evil in world.

Good easy read for the time. Shows natural struggles people go through with faith, and how there’s unexplained evil in the world. Concludes on an upbeat note that with the bad there’s always good and hope in the world. Keep working out your faith walk, that’s what gets you through the bad times.

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A concept in need of a Story and Editing

Concept: crisis of faith. Story: strung out about 8 hrs longer than needed. First book of Barbara O Neal I ever ached for it to GET IT Done. Totally predictable and plodding.

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Disappointed

I enjoyed When we Thought we Were Mermaids but this book was disappointing. I had a hard time with the narrator as a man. At times I thought the story was corny. I found myself moving it ahead. I almost stopped listening but wanted to see what happened with Tam’s husband. That turned out to fall flat and I had no idea about the letter she wrote at the end. Overall disappointed.

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Captivating

Kept me absorbed, wanting to read till the end. Good story line. A story for persons question their faith.