The Garland

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

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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.