Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: Oct. 7, 2014
Source: Edelweiss and publisher for review
Nestled in the bucolic town of Green Valley in upstate New York, the Pennywort farm appears ordinary, yet at its center lies something remarkable: a wild maze of colorful gardens that reaches beyond the imagination. Local legend says that a visitor can gain answers to life’s most difficult problems simply by walking through its lush corridors.
Yet the labyrinth has never helped Olivia Pennywort, the garden’s beautiful and enigmatic caretaker. She has spent her entire life on her family’s land, harboring a secret that forces her to keep everyone at arm’s length. But when her childhood best friend, Sam Van Winkle, returns to the valley, Olivia begins to question her safe, isolated world and wonders if she at last has the courage to let someone in. As she and Sam reconnect, Olivia faces a difficult question: Is the garden maze that she has nurtured all of her life a safe haven or a prison?My thoughts:
I do like magical realism so when I saw this one up for review I jumped at the chance to read it. It does have everything we come to expect from this genre: magic without logic, romance, obstacle to overcome that has be precipitated by magic and cured by it as well. So, it is safe to say that I enjoyed most of the book. The part I had a bit of trouble with is the end.
While the ending was not horrible at all. In fact, it did make sense. What I didn't like about it was that it felt too open. It didn't have enough details. Did Olivia solve her problem? You assume so but there is no concrete evidence. I suspect it was made to feel mysterious so you are with the rest of the town wondering what is going on, but because you were so into the detail of Olivia's world it just didn't feel right. It was like we got kicked out of the inner circle. Since I'm an "ending girl" this did color my view of the rest of the book.
I give this book 3 1/2 stars. Although I did have a few problems with the ending, I did enjoy the rest of my time amongst the magical plants and maze. I also enjoyed the main as well as the side characters. I recommend it to those that enjoy magical realism.