The Garland


Young Adult - Coming of Age
176 Pages
Reviewed on 12/13/2018
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

After graduating from college with a degree in English and German, I began writing, directing and producing dramas. The dramas advanced from one-act plays to full-length plays, and many of the one-act and full-length dramas were reviewed by drama critics, on public television (Critic’s Place, Baltimore) and in city newspapers. I became involved in every aspect of the stage art, including costuming, set and lighting design.
The dramas – many for young adults – were initially published independently as books that were printed and bound as ordered. From 1999 through 2012, thirty-four of the dramas were published on the Studio Editions internet site. A Twentieth Century Trilogy, about Wellesley Tudor Pole, was published online in 2001 (designed by Palden Jenkins) by the Glastonbury Archive in England.
Some of my paintings and illustrations can be viewed on the Studio Editions site, and many of my articles and book reviews (Now I See…) are also available online, on the Rudolf Steiner Archive. On the home page of Studio Editions, there is a link to a detailed chronological biography, Martha Keltz, CV et cetera.
The Garland is a first novel. A second publication – an illustrated book of verse – is planned for 2019.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Garland is a young adult coming of age novel written by Martha Keltz. Sondra Everett and Amanda Davison were embarking on a grand and somewhat terrifying adventure. They had taken the train from New York City, changed trains in Pittsburgh and were now in Hughmont, a small town in Western Maryland. Their lives had been through a great deal of upheaval in the past year. Nadine, their mom, had died, and Sondra, who liked to be called Sunny and was eighteen years old, had been granted guardianship over Mandy, her eight-year-old half-sister. Mandy’s father, whom neither sister had ever met, had left two properties in town to the sisters. Mr. Donovan, the lawyer handling their affairs, had set up accounts for them where they would have access to the proceeds of their mother’s insurance policy.

Their house, a tidy brick dwelling with a small front porch, was bright and clean. Sunny quickly decided on giving the larger of the two bedrooms to Mandy, figuring that it would make a perfect ballet studio for her. Next, she would have to find a ballet school for her sister, or, failing that, a teacher who could continue Mandy’s studies. Their initial fears about the move seemed to ebb away as they explored their new house and decided to share the pizza Sunny had noticed in the freezer. They almost felt as if they had come home.

Martha Keltz’s young adult coming of age novel, The Garland, is one of those evocative and spellbinding stories that entice the reader to stay and continue reading, and might even engender thoughts of moving to that little town that Sunny and Mandy make their new home -- I know it did for me. One can’t help but get involved in the two sisters’ lives, especially in Sunny’s as she seems to sacrifice so much of her own youth in her concerns for Mandy’s schooling and dance training. Keltz’s plot is engaging, and her writing style works perfectly with this 1980s tale. Her characters are finely drawn and credible. The astronomy, nature and ballet that form the backdrop for the story make reading this coming of age tale a richly textured and very enjoyable experience. The Garland is most highly recommended.