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Susannah's Garden

Cover of Susannah's Garden

Susannah's Garden

It was the year that changed everything.

When Susannah Nelson turned eighteen, she said goodbye to her boyfriend, Jake--and never saw him again. She never saw her brother again, either. Doug died in a car accident that same year.

Now, at fifty, she finds herself regretting the paths not taken. Long married, a mother and a teacher, she should be happy. But she feels there's something missing in her life, although she doesn't know exactly what. Not only that, she's balancing the demands of an aging mother and a temperamental twenty-year-old daughter.

Her mother, Vivan, a recent widow, is having difficulty coping and living alone, so Susannah goes home to Colville, Washington. In returning to her parents' house, her girlhood friends and the garden she's always loved, she also returns to the past--and the choices she made back then.

What she discovers is that things are not as they once seemed. Some paths are dead ends. But some gardens remain beautiful....

It was the year that changed everything.

When Susannah Nelson turned eighteen, she said goodbye to her boyfriend, Jake--and never saw him again. She never saw her brother again, either. Doug died in a car accident that same year.

Now, at fifty, she finds herself regretting the paths not taken. Long married, a mother and a teacher, she should be happy. But she feels there's something missing in her life, although she doesn't know exactly what. Not only that, she's balancing the demands of an aging mother and a temperamental twenty-year-old daughter.

Her mother, Vivan, a recent widow, is having difficulty coping and living alone, so Susannah goes home to Colville, Washington. In returning to her parents' house, her girlhood friends and the garden she's always loved, she also returns to the past--and the choices she made back then.

What she discovers is that things are not as they once seemed. Some paths are dead ends. But some gardens remain beautiful....

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    VIVIAN LEARY STOOD motionless at the corner of the street, her eyes darting from side to side. She had no idea where she was or how she'd gotten lost. After all, she'd lived in Colville her entire life. She should know--did know--every square inch of this town. But the last thing she remembered was going out to collect the mail and that must have been hours ago.

    The street didn't look familiar and the houses weren't any she recognized. The Henderson house at the corner of Chestnut and Elm had been her marker, but it was nowhere in sight. She remembered that the Hendersons had painted their place white with green shutters. Where was it? she wondered, starting to feel frantic. Where was it? George would be upset with her for taking so long. Oh, no, how could she have forgotten? George was dead.

    The weight of grief settled over her, heavy and oppressive. George, her beloved husband, was gone--taken from her just two months short of their sixtieth anniversary. It had all happened so fast____

    Last November, her husband had gone outside to warm up the car before church, and a few minutes later he lay dead in the carport. He'd had a massive heart attack. The nice young man who'd come with the ambulance had told her George was dead before he even hit the pavement. He sounded as if this was supposed to comfort her. But nothing could have eased the shock, the horror, of that dreadful morning.

    Vivian blinked hard, and despite the May warmth of eastern Washington, a chill raced up her bare arms. She tried to extinguish her growing panic. How was she going to find her way home?

    Susannah would know what to do--but then she remembered that her daughter didn't live in Colville anymore. Of course Susannah wasn't at home. She had her own house. In Seattle, wasn't it? Yes, in Seattle. She was married with two precious children. Susannah and Joe's children. Good grief, why couldn't she think of their names? Her grandchildren were her joy and her pride. She could picture their faces as clearly as if she was looking at a photograph, but she couldn't recall their names.

    Chrissie. The relief was instantaneous. Her granddaughter's name was Chrissie. She was born first and then Brian was born three years later. Or was it four years? It didn't matter, Vivian decided. She had their names now.

    What she needed to do was concentrate on where she was--and where she should go from here. It was already starting to get dark and she didn't want to wander aimlessly from street to street. But she couldn't figure out what to do next.

    If there'd been any other pedestrians around, she could've stopped and asked for directions to Woods Road.

    No...Woods Road had been her childhood address. She hadn't lived there since she was a schoolgirl, and that was before the war. For heaven's sake, she should be able to remember her own address! What was wrong with her?

    The place she was looking for was the house she and George had bought almost forty-five years ago, when the children were still at home. She felt a mixture of fear...and shame. A woman of eighty should know where she lived. George would be so frustrated and impatient if he ever found out about this____Only he'd never know. That didn't make her feel any better, though. She needed him, and he wasn't there to help her, and that filled her with anxiety so intense, she wrung her hands.

    Vivian started walking again, although she wasn't sure where she was headed. Maybe if she kept moving, if she concentrated hard enough, the memory would eventually return to her.

    Her legs tired quickly, and she sighed with relief when she saw a...

About the Author-
  • Debbie Macomber, with more than 100 million copies of her books sold worldwide, is one of today's most popular authors. The #1 New York Times bestselling author is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Debbie is a regular resident on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times (70 times and counting), USA TODAY (currently 67 times) and Publishers Weekly (47 times). Visit her at www.DebbieMacomber.com.

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