Author: Margaret Dilloway
Publisher: Berkley Paperback
Original Hardback Publishing 2012
Paperback: July 2, 2013
Thirty-six-year-old Gal Garner lives a regimented life. Her job teaching biology and her struggle with kidney disease keep her toggling between the high school, the hospital, and her home on a strict schedule.
Only at home, in her garden, does Gal come alive. It's here that she experiments with Hulthemia roses, painstakingly cross-pollinating various specimens in the hopes of creating a brand-new variation of spectacular beauty. But even her passion has a highly structured goal: Gal wants to win Queen of Show in a major competition and bring that rose to market.
Then one afternoon Gal's teenaged niece Riley, the daughter of her estranged sister, arrives. Unannounced. Neither one of them will ever be the same.
Filled with gorgeous details of the art of rose breeding, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns is a testament to the redemptive power of love.
We have here a family with a closed off protagonist - due to illness and personal emotional upheaval. We also have an emotionally and physically abandoned niece, whose mother is an on and off druggie. When the niece shows up on her doorstep, announcing she's been sent to live with Gal while her mother goes off to start a new life in another country, Gal sees her entire life turning upside down. How to take care of a teenager while on Dialysis and waiting for a new kidney to come her way?
But as thing do happen, Gal has a large heart hidden under the shell and slowly opens her home......and that hidden heart... to her niece.
A family drama novel that goes into in-depth discussion of dialysis, roses and family angst. A nice hearty book you can sink your teeth into.