Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book # 8 Review: Susannah's Garden

Sometimes I need a quiet, easy-to-read book to cuddle up with. I found Debbie Macomber's The Perfect Christmas to be such a delightful story to read that I thought I would try another book by her. I loved the cover on this one and so it came home from the library with me.


While the style of writing remained the same in Susannah's Garden, the story was certainly not "easy" as I had anticipated. Susannah is a 50 something year old woman and married to a good man who loves her. She finds she needs to return to the small town she grew up in to take care of her aging mother and move her into an assisted living facility. She also has started having dreams about an old highschool boyfriend and she decides to look him up while she is in town, packing up her childhood home.

This story contains all the various emotional aspects of these situations and many more. I can now imagine what it would be like to attempt to "talk" my mother into moving from her home into an assisted living facility. It would be a difficult time. It reminded me of the time when my own grandmother who suffered from alzheimer's disease needed to be removed from her home and moved into my aunt's house. It was a very difficult and emotional time for all involved, not the least of whom was my grandmother herself. It was hard for her to deal with and understand the fact that she couldn't remember things, important things at that. She knew she should remember but she couldn't. This story touched a bit on that. I could relate.

I did not appreciate Susannah's insatiable desire to find her highschool boyfriend, however. I found myself thinking, "Come on, woman. Get a grip! You have a good life. You have a man who loves you. Why this incredible need?" But then how can I say or even think something like that when I am married to my highschool sweetheart? I could not relate to those feelings she exhibited because I have never been in that situation. I honestly don't know how I would deal with those feelings. Would I do the same thing? Would it have haunted my every moment to have my highschool boyfriend disappear from my life? I cannot answer that question.

I was not surprised in the least by the ending of this book. I saw it coming. I don't know if that was Debbie Macomber's intention or not, the whole foreshadowing notion or something, but I knew how the book would end. Like I have mentioned before, it is very hard to truly surprise me. I did enjoy the small attempt at a "mystery" however.

I could sincerely appreciate Susannah's husband and his attitude toward the whole thing. He seems very similar to my James. Disappointed when I don't share important things with him, but so very quick to forgive and forget. I love my husband for this amazing quality. I am so hot-tempered and quick to defend myself, but James coolness and even-temepered nature forgives and continues loving me as before. He is my steady rock. My rudder who keeps me turned in the right direction when I fill my masts 100 different sails and try to follow the wind wherever it takes me.

Reading this book helped me to ponder upon and appreciate these qualities in my own husband even more.

I am torn with regards to this book. I can honestly say it is not one of my favorites. There were parts that made me look into my own life and heart and ask myself questions, but then there were parts that I just thought, "Get over it, lady." I thought she was a little too self-centered. But wait! Could that be me sometimes? Maybe not in this situation exactly, but at other times...can I think about myself and how "wronged" I was in a situation without stopping to think about how good I have it or how much God has blessed me?

So, I think I need to try a third Debbie Macomber book to truly get a genuine feel for this author's style. Has anyone read her books? If so, do you enjoy them? What do you like or not like about her?

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