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The Garden Angel

A Novel

Mindy Friddle

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Set in a Southern, city-swallowed town, The Garden Angel tells the story of two women and their unlikey friendship. Cutter Johanson is plucky and eccentric, nostalgic about her family's once glorious past. She has her hands full warding off potential buyers from the dilapidated homestead she is determined to keep. Though the neighborhood has changed, even grown shabby, Father Bob's Home for Retarded Men across the street has become a sort of extended family for Cutter. And her two jobs keep her busy: she has the "dead beat" writing obituaries for the Sans Souci Citizen and waits tables at the nearby Pancake Palace. Cutter's home is like another character, elegiac, full of secrets, providing her with a refuge from the modern world outside her neighborhood. That is, until Cutter's sister, Ginnie, pregnant with her married lover's child, brings trouble home.

Elizabeth Byers rarely ventures outside the brick ranch she shares with her husband, Daniel, a professor at Palmetto University. Agoraphobic and stricken with panic attacks, she fills her days gardening and writing her dissertation on Emily Dickinson. But one day, an anonymous call brings disturbing news that propels her into action. Elizabeth summons her courage to leave her house and drive into neighboring San Souci, and the disturbing sad events that follow lead her to forge a friendship with Cutter, a stranger who reaches out to help.

By the closing pages, Cutter is losing her house and Elizabeth is losing her husband. The two women pull together to come up with a solution--and find sanctuary from their troubles.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jun 21, 2004 – Cutter and Elizabeth, two Florida women with little in common, forge a deep friendship in this crisp, unusual novel. Trouble strikes them both at once, in the form of Cutter's sister, Ginnie, who is in love with, and newly pregnant by, her English professor, Daniel, childless Elizabeth's husband. Elizabeth, tipped off by an anonymous caller, ventures to the house Ginnie shares with Cutter, who was named Catherine but took her father's name. It's Cutter whom Elizabeth finds at home, and their shared dismay over the disastrous affair instantly binds them. Set in Sans Souci, Fla., this debut novel is atmospheric in the way of Southern fiction, but it is also brand new. With casual skill, Friddle makes the case that who we like in life may be as critical as who we love. The friendship between Cutter and Elizabeth changes everything. Elizabeth's money will let Cutter keep the house she venerates but that her sister and her brother, Barry, want to sell. And Cutter's practicality wrests Elizabeth free of her notion of herself as an invalid recluse in the Emily Dickinson mold. The happy ending may seem saccharine to some, but the majority of readers are likely to feel that there's vinegar and sharp greens enough along the way to merit the rich sweetness.
The Garden Angel
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Jun 01, 2005
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 250 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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