FEATURED ON NANCY PEARL'S BOOK LUST TV PROGRAM! Two years after the death of her beloved husband, Torre, fifty-six-year-old Gardenia Pitkin is adjusting to life as a widow. She's lonely and struggling financially, but she counts her blessings--her son, Hans, her grandson, Milo, and a new job as an administrative assistant in the English department of the University of the Northwest in Seattle. She even shares a love of dachshunds with her new boss, the eccentric Arnold Wiggens. As pieces of her life come together, Gardenia is confounded by the surprises that surface. There's Lex Ohashi, who seems determined to court her, and Dr. Laurel DuBarr, the new adjunct professor who becomes Arnold's romantic infatuation. Gardenia also suspects her daughter-in-law of being unfaithful. Should she tell her son? With nods to the wry comedic sensibility of Barbara Pym and her respect for the role of "trivialities" in human life, ALWAYS GARDENIA combines laugh-out-loud moments with wise reflections on friendships, families, and loss, as well as the complex relationship between mothers and their grown sons. FROM KATHLEEN FLENNIKEN, 2012-2014 WASHINGTON STATE POET LAUREATE: "In cheerful, lively prose that pays homage to the novels of Barbara Pym, ALWAYS GARDENIA skewers and celebrates middle-aged romance. . . Every hurt, tentative pleasure, and human foible sparkles with authorial precision. The laughable is also tender for being absolutely true."
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