In the majority of cases, I aspire to be the protagonist of the books I read. The protagonist inevitably has some flaws, but the flaws make them human. In the case of The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway, the main character Galilee Garner is deeply flawed, and I should have wanted nothing to do with her. She had health issues and lacked social graces. She was on the outs with her principal, holding onto her teaching job at a private school by a thread, because she refused to kow tow to parents who believed she was too tough. There wasn't much to love or to root for.
All Gal wanted from life was to breed a prize winning rose that would be developed commercially. She, a mere hobbyist in her backyard, had to goal to create a rose perfect enough to garner attention at rose shows that it would become something sold in garden centers across the world. Of course it wasn't so simple as a fairy tale, not when her sister dumped a very unhappy niece on her while the sister worked a new job in Asia.
Finally, Gal has to climb out of her non-living life and figure out how to parent and start giving of herself, beyond even just her niece. The book was an enjoyable read, and I've been waiting to write about this one for almost a month now. I have to admit I enjoyed it far better than I did Margaret Dilloway's previous book, How to Be an American Housewife.
Have you read it? Whether you have or not, join in the conversation at BlogHer, where this week's question asks how you feel about roses - do you like receiving them? Do you grow them?
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of the book "The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns" for review purposes. I was also compensated as part of this campaign, but all opinions remain my own.