Review: The Lily Garden by Barbara Josselsohn

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When Caroline left Lake Summers thirty years ago, she thought she’d never go back to the place where she lost her parents. But when she finds out that the town’s lily garden lovingly built by her mother is going to be destroyed, she knows fate is calling. Dropping everything at her office in Chicago, she knows she is the only person who can save the garden.

Caroline and her daughter Lee are welcomed home by the warm smile of her mother’s best friend Maxine, and piles of pancakes at her cozy little restaurant in town. And Caroline soon learns that she isn’t the only person invested in saving her mother’s legacy, when she meets handsome historian Aaron. As she gets to know him, strolling along the sparkling lakeshore, she can’t imagine anywhere else she’d rather be.

But then Caroline learns a terrible secret about the day her mother died. And soon the real reason Aaron is in Lake Summers comes to light. Will the truth about the people she loves force her to give up a future with Aaron, and the beautiful town that has always been in her heart?

Source: NetGalley and Bookouture Rating: 3/5 stars

The Bottom Line:  I’m not sure I can agree with the tagline of “A heart-warming, feel-good summer romance.”  While there is a bit of romance in this book, it certainly isn’t a particularly heart-warming, feel-good read.  There is a load of drama in this book from the strained relationship between Caroline and her family to the long-held secret about Caroline’s relocation from Lake Summers to Chicago so many years ago.  What’s more, Aaron’s story is anything but heart-warming and feel-good as he grapples with a reality he is trying to come to grips with.  Finally, there is the fight to save the Lily Garden which is just about the only truly uplifting part of this book.  I enjoyed the setting of this book immensely and the great sense of community, but beyond that, I can’t say I loved this read especially given the billing versus the reality of the read.  I expected something a bit lighter and can’t honestly say I was pleasantly surprised by the heavier read.  I can see this book appealing to a great many readers, but it missed the mark a bit for me.

Goodreads | Amazon | Paperback

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