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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
In the Garden of Sorrows is a work of fiction in the historical, emotive writing, and steamy romance subgenres. It is best suited to mature readers for its sexual content, and was penned by author Karen Jewell. In this seductive and enjoyable emotional drama, we find ourselves following the journey of Isabel Fuller. As she recovers from the grief of losing her son and resenting her husband for sending him away to war, Isabel meets a young preacher who awakens long-dormant feelings in her heart, mind, and body. What results is an erotic and freeing exploration of her true self and the power of love to heal deep wounds over time.
Author Karen Jewell really celebrates physical intimacy in this work for all its healing connections and tenderness. It seems initially incongruous to connect steamy romance with a tale about grief at first glance, but such is the mastery of the author’s emotive narrative and keen speech and thought presentation that we understand exactly where Isabel is at and how her new discoveries and relationship can help her to move forward. The grief storyline of losing her son is never forgotten or belittled, and it becomes a keystone of her life as she grows in this well-paced novel filled with reflective moments, deep considerations, and some very enjoyable romantic scenes indeed. Overall, In the Garden of Sorrows is a uniquely pitched and realistic historical work from the not-too-distant past that taps into everything it is to be human, and I’d highly recommend it.