Title: The Memory Garden
Author: Mary Rickert
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Number of Pages: 304
How I Got It: NetGalley
Nan keeps her secrets deep, not knowing how the truth would reveal a magic all its own.
Bay Singer has bigger secrets than most. She doesn't know about them, though. Her mother, Nan, has made sure of that. But one phone call from the sheriff makes Nan realize that the past is catching up. Nan decides that she has to make things right, and invites over the two estranged friends who know the truth. Ruthie and Mavis arrive in a whirlwind of painful memories, offering Nan little hope of protecting Bay. But even the most ruined garden is resilient, and their curious reunion has powerful effects that none of them could imagine, least of all Bay.
I've pitched this novel as Practical Magic meets Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood with a dash of White Oleander: A house on the outskirts of town, a baby left on a doorstep, a secret from the past, and a reunion of friends. Each chapter begins with a short excerpt on a flower or herb and the powers it holds. Several are noted as abortifacients and there is an underlying theme of abortions (herbal and medical) throughout the novel.
There were so many for a while there, and then, when the law changed, there were less and less until she was no longer needed. There were stragglers, of course; those who didn't want a doctor.The run down house and garden setting is very comforting and there is a lot of food to make this novel a really delicious read. I really, really loved this book and thought it was absolutely perfect for October. If I had to pick something I didn't like, I would say it was a bit frustrating having conversations interrupted constantly. Someone would be trying to say something important and the person they were trying to tell just wouldn't let them spit it out.
** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **