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Reviewed by Christine Nguyen for Readers' Favorite
The Grandest Garden by Gina L. Carroll is about a young woman named Bella Fontaine who goes out into the world. Bella is an ancient soul who is a part of the earth and the garden that she adores cultivating. Her childhood is filled with loving memories of spending time with both her grandmothers, Olivette and Miriam, in their distinct gardens in Los Angeles. Miriam moves into Olivette’s garden home as her memory starts failing her. The two women forge a bond that leaves Bella feeling excluded. Bella escapes to New York City to start her budding career as a photographer. In her new hometown, she meets Dorian and his mother who help showcase Bella’s artwork in their gallery.
Author Gina L. Carroll pens a beautifully written novel about family and the strong bonds that develop to make us who we are. The storyline is creatively woven with the magical essence of Mother Earth in each chapter. There is a sense of spirituality surrounding the characters and their beliefs that permeates throughout the novel. I loved the strong female characters from Bella to her two memorable grandmothers that play a central role in the plot and storyline. Dementia is a theme that was sensitively tackled by the author, highlighting that many people will experience this with their aging loved ones. The Grandest Garden is a captivating story that drew me in from the very beginning. It brought back nostalgic memories of my grandmother who also suffered from dementia in her later years.