Friday, February 23, 2024

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

A Garden to Keep - a book review


We meet Elizabeth Landis, lover of poetry,  on a Sunday afternoon as she is having lunch with Margaret and Thomas in their home after attending church by invitation of one of her students.  Before leaving their home that day, Margaret has been instrumental in Elizabeth coming to faith in Jesus Christ.  By that same evening, Elizabeth finds out that her husband Ken has been unfaithful to her in their marriage.

It took me forever to get really interested in the book, and by that I mean like slightly over 100 pages before I decided to stick with it.  Margaret has advised Elizabeth to write down her thoughts, which she does do, but like myself, those thoughts aren't always in chronological order.  So there was a lot of back and forth things to keep track of.  I've chosen just a couple of quotes from the book that are perfect illustrations of this.

"I guess it's obvious by now that I freely exercise the right at any point in my story to skip over entire weeks and months or, more often, to stop and fill in background.  Sometimes when I'm reading a book and the author stops to muse over some extraneous detail, I say, "Come on, get on with the story and stop all this stalling." But now I'm the writer, see, and anybody who's writing something gets to make the calls."

"But I'll try to get on with it, though I'm not making any promises.  As my mind wanders hither and yon, I nevertheless have a distant goal in sight.  I'm going somewhere, trust me, but the trip might be more than just a short day's ride.  "As if I hadn't already figured that out," you're saying."

Somewhere around the first quote, I was taken in by how the Lord was working in Elizabeth's life and there was no way that I could quit reading.  This is an amazing story of infidelity, separation, reconciliation and seeing God's grace working through it all.  I was sad when I came to the end because I would miss being a part of Elizabeth and Ken's lives.  The writing style had long since quit bothering me as I became absorbed in how God was working in Elizabeth's life.  

The book was well written as far as not having any descriptive dialog as far as the infidelity was concerned, which I appreciated greatly.  Otherwise, I would not have finished reading the book.  

Another aspect that I appreciated is that it approached everyday real life problems in a way that caused me, as the reader, to think about similar circumstances in my years of marriage and how I handled them...not only relating to marriage, but also in child rearing.

I purchased this book as a used book and realized it was given to someone as a gift.  The giver had written "To:Sara, From: Seth".  After realizing the content of the book, it made me wonder about Sara and Seth and what the ocassion was that had caused him to present it to her as a gift.

I would definitely recommend this book!