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My Progress:

10 / 30 books. 33% done!

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18 / 51 states. 35% done!

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13 / 50 books. 26% done!

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38 / 50 books. 76% done!

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5 / 25 books. 20% done!

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24 / 26.2 miles. 92% done!

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19 / 100 books. 19% done!

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49 / 104 books. 47% done!

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39 / 52 books. 75% done!

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44 / 165 books. 27% done!
Friday, May 01, 2020

Book Spotlight: The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman

I didn't get a chance to read The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman (which is actually a pen name used by Wade Rouse, who writes under his late grandmother's name as a way to honor her) in time for my blog tour stop, so I'm just going to do a little spotlight today.  According to the back cover summary, here's what the book is about:

In her inimitable style, Viola Shipman explores the unlikely relationship between two very different women brought together by the pain of war, but bonded by hope, purpose…and flowers.

Iris Maynard lost her husband in World War II, her daughter to illness and, finally, her reason to live. Walled off from the world for decades behind the towering fence surrounding her home, Iris has built a new family…of flowers. Iris propagates her own daylilies and roses while tending to a garden filled with the heirloom starts that keep the memories of her loved ones alive.

When Abby Peterson moves next door with her family—a husband traumatized by his service in the Iraq War and a young daughter searching for stability—Iris is reluctantly yet inevitably drawn into her boisterous neighbor’s life, where, united by loss and a love of flowers, she and Abby tentatively unearth their secrets, and help each other discover how much life they have yet to live.

With delightful illustrations and fascinating detail, Viola Shipman’s heartwarming story will charm readers while resonating with issues that are so relevant today.

Have you read The Heirloom Garden?  What did you think?

Thanks to the generous folks at Harlequin (a division of HarperCollins) for sending me an e-ARC of The Heirloom Garden!


  1. I have loved all the prior books by this author.
    I hope to be able to find this and read.
    I am sure I will enjoy it

  2. I haven't read any books by this author but I have about all of them on my TBR. I love how he chose his pseudonym!

    1. Cool, isn't it? I was shocked to see a picture of a male when I Googled "Viola Shipman," but I love the story of how he chose the name. So sweet!

  3. I'm fascinated by a guy using a female pen name. I'm sure it's happened a lot before, but it has to be pretty rare compared to the other way around. I love his reason for doing it that way. Until relatively recently, several female crime writers were using male pen names in order to get published and bought - and, sadly, that made sense. Glad to see that's not so common anymore.

    1. Right? I don't think I've ever heard of that being done before. Of course, not a lot of men write this type of fiction. Nicholas Sparks is the only one I can think of right off the top of my head and even his books are a little different from this one.

  4. I am keen to read this one!

  5. Haven't read this one, but I love that cover. :)

    1. It's very soft and summery, isn't it?

  6. This one sounds interesting. Such a pretty cover, too!

  7. OK, first of all, you're reading Ruth Ware's upcoming book!! So jealous! Secondly, I had no idea that this author was using a pen name. Very interesting. Think it's great that he honors his grandmother that way.

    1. Are you on NetGalley or Edelweiss? I believe both of them have ONE BY ONE on offer right now. I was so excited to download the ARC!

      I agree about the pen name. It's an interesting story and super sweet.

  8. I have not read any of this author's work but I love where this pen name came from. This does sound like a great read.

  9. This was my first book by Viola Shipman and I absolutely loved it. I loved the characters, the setting the plot, the dual timeline, the gardens everything. ONe of my top books in 2020. I was floored when I saw that it was written by a man. If you haven't read it yet, you really need to give it a go Susan.


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