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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Oleander Oasis is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, contemporary romance, and social issues subgenres. It is best suited to the adult reading audience owing to strong themes of suicide and domestic violence. Penned by author Anna J Walner, in this sensitive, tender, and frank exploration of surviving and thriving beyond a life filled with violence and fear, we meet Beth and her daughter Mel when the pair embarks on a new start in Galveston. As the ever-resilient Beth maintains her inner strength and keeps her eyes on the horizon, unexpected meetings with new friends show her the true meaning of family, and she learns that not all romances have to end in tragedy.
It is clear from the offset that this novel is based on true events and the real experiences of the writer, not simply because author Anna J Walner explicitly states so, but because the narrative itself is so powerfully honest and deep. Beth’s journey is peppered with references and small contemplative moments that come from the deepest parts of any abuse survivor’s soul, and those hopeful, heart-aching moments still tinged with sadness and fear give a realistic and powerful portrayal throughout the story. The plot itself is charming and uplifting, with warm familial themes and new romantic subplots that all feed into the central idea of rebirth and learning to live again and get out from under the shadow of domestic abuse. I really loved Mel’s dialogue and her whole personality, what an original thinker! Overall, I would definitely recommend Oleander Oasis to fans of family drama and contemporary romance everywhere.