The Gardins of Edin

WaterBrook. Jan. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780593445495. pap. $17. CF
DEBUT Taking the biblical character Ruth and setting her at the helm of a 21st-century multinational company is the main premise of Lee’s debut novel. Ruth Gardin loves her mother-in-law, but her nieces are causing drama with the family peanut business and may even block her move to become CEO. Mary and Martha love being part of the esteemed Gardin family, but they are also trying to leave their own mark on the world. That mark may come at the cost of their physical and mental health, though, as the stress of family dysfunction comes to a head at the annual company Christmas party. Set in Edin, GA, the company was founded by the Gardins decades earlier as a refuge for formerly enslaved people and budding Black entrepreneurs, and the weight of the past both inspires and hinders the characters.
VERDICT Intergenerational women’s relationships, self-care, and setting healthy boundaries are only a few of the themes explored through this quirky and complicated yet lovable family. Fans of contemporary Christian fiction authors Pat Simmons and Robin W. Pearson will cheer at this new voice in the genre.
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