The Garden Angel
Picador, 2005 (2004)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
indy Friddle is a welcome new name on the bookshelves -
The Garden Angel
is her debut novel. Cutter Johanson, living in Sans Souci, South Carolina, finds that trying to save her ancestral home from prospective buyers is a losing game. Her brother and sister want her to sell. They need the money - her brother to buy a fancy new car to impress women, her sister because she wants to move on in her life and leave the dilapidated old house behind her.
utter's sister is having an affair with a married man. Nothing new about that situation. Happens all the time. But when the married man's wife ends up on Cutter's doorstep, her life takes an abrupt turn. While trying to remain loyal to her sister, Cutter can't help but be caught up in the wife's plight. Friddle writes with an understanding of a flawed mind. The wife needs help, which Cutter recognizes and responds to with sensitivity, even though her own world is dissolving around her.
he Garden Angel
Southeastern Booksellers Association
bestseller, an honor well deserved. It is written with sensibility and compassion. But it is far from a maudlin story. It reveals tenacity and the grit needed to achieve a goal. The author's keen sense of humor is subtle and keeps Cutter on an almost even keel. Friddle's writing made me stop to enjoy the words and then to absorb the content of such turns of phrase as '
You couldn't use someone like a bandage to staunch the bleeding of loneliness.
he story unfolds slowly while still giving the reader the impetus to keep turning pages. Once opened, I had a hard time putting this novel down. Enjoy Friddle now and look for anything new she might write. It's sure to be another winner.
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