Extended Audio Sample

Download The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns Audiobook, by Margaret Dilloway Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (754 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Dilloway Narrator: Andrea Gallo Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9781470327668
Regular Price: $29.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $10.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Best known for her debut novel How to Be an American Housewife, Margaret Dilloway is a John Gardner Fiction Book Award finalist. In The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, thirty-six-year-old Gal Garner lives according to a strict plan. Only happy when caring for her roses, she dreams of one day bringing her own variety to market. But when her teenage niece arrives for an unexpected visit, the organization of Gal’s life evaporates. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Exquisite…Dilloway’s keen prose and an unexpected ending lift The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns…into something something special.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A richly textured diversion from standard treatments of family angst, Dilloway’s new novel expresses a graceful understanding of the virtues of mercy.”


  • “Andrea Gallo dramatizes the contrast between Gal’s joy in her roses and her weariness at her daily struggles…Gallo’s voice hints at the vulnerability Gal hides under a gruff manner that contrasts with her passion for her roses and the sense of control they give her.”


  • “Believable situations with well-drawn characters make this novel as lovely as the roses Gal tends. Dilloway’s second novel…is a captivating study of how love and understanding nurture our lives. Engaging, enlightening, thoughtful, this is a winner.”

    Library Journal

  • “[An] exquisitely written novel about love and redemption…A witty and compassionate lesson about the importance of empathy, friendship, and family.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Selected for the August 2012 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindzie | 2/18/2014

    " For her second book, Margaret Dilloway did a great job telling this story. I liked how her inspiration came from her sister-in-law who was a kidney transplant patient. I found it sad that the main character, Gal, didn't receive her transplant in the end. But I think this is how it must feel to a lot of people going through this. I felt like the sister, Becky, could have been a little more developed but seeing as the story was being told mostly about Gal, the sister is just a side character that probably didn't need much time in the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 2/15/2014

    " I loved this book! Gal's transformation was like the blooming of a rose, and a few thorns remained, just like life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/4/2014

    " A beautiful character-driven story. I enjoyed each character and what they brought to the story. It reminded me a little of "The Language of Flowers." I found the parts about the roses and the rose shows interesting, but it was the characters, Gal and Riley who I fell in love with. These were characters I could see traits of myself in. I was teary in some parts and laughing in others. I highly recommend this story! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 1/26/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book-well written, interesting and great characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gena Divine | 1/20/2014

    " Sometimes it's nice to read a book whose plot plays out exactly as you'd expect, which makes you feel exactly how you'd expect to feel while reading it. A very pleasant read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christine Frank | 1/8/2014

    " Easily putdownable. The author seems to pile on one unappealing feature after another until, after one or two attempts, I gave up. Gardening holds no appeal for me and, well, just no. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Virginia Campbell | 1/8/2014

    " The fleeting perfection of an exquisite rose in bloom is something human beings cannot hope themselves to attain. Even so, people nurture, cultivate, feed, water and lavish loving attention upon the thorny splendor of the rose. In "The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns", author Margaret Dilloway introduces us to just such a person. Gal Garner is a teacher, a dialysis patient, and a grower of roses. Not just any roses, but specially cross-pollinated hybrid roses, which she hopes will win "Queen of Show" in an important competition and lead to a marketing contract. Gal's health issues are a serious concern, as two kidney transplants have failed. Nothing is ever smooth and simple, from her time in the classroom to her time spent at the hospital. It is her work with her beloved roses that fires the spark within. Gal's life takes on a completely unexpected twisty turn when her teenaged niece, Riley, is suddenly left in her care. Gal and Riley's mother, Becky, have always had a difficult, complicated relationship as sisters. Nearing forty, sharply honest, with no family of her own, Gal is abruptly made responsible for Riley when Becky takes off for Asia due to her job requirements. At first, Gal and Riley are like two prickly stems, sharp and full of thorns. In time, companionship, trust, and love come into bloom between them, and when Becky comes home to claim her daughter, Gal is hit hard by how much she will miss Riley's presence in her life. What will be Riley's choice--the new happiness she has found with Gal, or the promise of an improved life with her own mother? "The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns" illuminates and enlightens with its information not only on the intricacies of the cultivation of roses, but also on the needs of the human heart and its infinite capacity to love. Review Copy Gratis Amazon Vine "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 1/6/2014

    " I really liked this book. Touching, without being maudlin. Realistic character growth and the main character reaching more/some self-awareness, with shades of grey between good and bad. Margaret Dilloway writes prickly characters very well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn | 12/30/2013

    " Great book! About rose culture and dialysis, but really about the warm but prickly relationship of a teacher with her teenage niece who is dropped off at her door when her feckless sister takes a job in Hong Kong. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheron | 12/17/2013

    " a sweet tale. learned about roses. quick, captivating read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 12/15/2013

    " I found this book delightful. Even though the story wasn't that complex, it was well written and I completely got sucked into Gal's life and hobby. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janet | 11/29/2013

    " Loved the prickly narrator and the story. I really hoped for more, but the ending was way too traditional happiness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kayne | 8/3/2013

    " A gentle read. Single professional woman with health problems is asked to care for her niece until her mom returns from Asia. Minor problems ensue. Nothing to keep you up at night, but a nicely paced book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betty Utley | 7/12/2013

    " Very fun Interplay of roses-thorns-parenting-illness-prickly character themes. Learned quite a bit about rose propagation and kidney dialysis; life lessons throughout.I'm reminded not to judge others for not knowing their journey. Affirming, thoughtful, characters I will remember, especially Gal. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anne K. | 7/3/2013

    " I kept hoping the main character would redeem herself from the awful, selfish, unreliable narrator that she continued to be. My hopes were sadly unfruitful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 4/25/2013

    " This book evokes similarities to The Language of Flowers with a few key differences. The passages about Gal's hobby felt like lectures, but fit with her personality. And Gal is a richly drawn character you'll root for as she blooms like the roses she breeds. 4.5 stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie Claycomb | 1/3/2013

    " I loved this book. I loved the quirky, unlovable rose growing teacher-aunt, and the niece. I learned more than I ever thought I could about roses. I was a delightful book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christi | 12/6/2012

    " Simple book. Easy to read, no major ah ha moments. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Margaret Dilloway

Margaret Dilloway grew up in San Diego, California, the daughter of a Japanese mother and an American father. A writer since she could wield a pencil, she dabbled in other art forms as well, majoring in studio art at Scripps College. After college, she worked as contributing editor for two weekly newspapers and did some online writing and mystery shopping to bring in income while she watched over her three kids and worked on her fiction. 

About the Narrator

Andrea Gallo is an audiobook narrator whose works include Ungifted by Gordan Korman, The Nosy Neighbor by Fern Michaels, Kings of the Earth by John Clinch, and In Search of Eden by Linda Nichols, among many others.