Zibby Bks. Jun. 2023. 8:17 hrs. ISBN 9781958506165. $15.99. F
Delury’s (The Balcony) sophomore novel delves into the challenges of navigating motherhood and marriage while making room for one’s own needs. The story follows 40-year-old garden-historian Maud as she restores a 19th-century garden in the Hudson valley. Maud has hit midlife and is contemplating divorce. She hopes to spend an idyllic summer with her daughters, Ella and Louise, on this charming estate, but her plans quickly go off the rails. Maud’s friendship with and deep affection for archaeologist Gabriel Crews offer a promising start to the season, but when Ella and Louise arrive, she is torn between her budding romance and her daughters. It is clear that all is not well with 13-year-old Ella, and Maud has some tough choices to make. Narrator Molly Parker Myers has a talent for infusing personality into characters’ speech. She not only differentiates between each character but beautifully portrays their personalities and reactions to the events as they play out. Myers’s skillful narration will have listeners falling in love with Maud, her daughters, and the other people who come into their lives.
VERDICT Delury offers a sensitive portrayal of real family struggles, balanced with a side of history and gardening.
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