Daily Review: Beyond the Garden by Ashley Farley
April 11, 2018
Caleb Pirtle III
The story is permeated with love, mystery, drama, and emotional tension as the author tackles sensitive and gritty subjects.
All is right in Ellie Pringle Hagood’s world. Recently married to the man of her dreams and in anticipation of the big family she’s always wanted, she focuses on restoring the large home she inherited from her grandmother on Charleston’s prestigious Battery. Abbott, the father she adores, lives just down the street from her.
She treasures her beloved housekeeper, Maddie, who offers wise counsel and loving support, and is the closest thing to a mother she’s ever known. Two days a week, she volunteers for an art program she piloted at an elementary school. But then, in the midst of all her happiness, comes news that throws Ellie’s life into a tailspin.
Her brother-in-law has been murdered in Key West, and her sister, Lia, is wanted for questioning in the investigation. No one in Ellie’s family has seen or heard from Lia in the seven months since she disappeared and left her twin three-year-old daughters in Ellie and Julian’s care. The newlyweds, with several questions nagging at them, fly off to Key West in search of the missing sister.
Where is Lia? How is she connected to her husband’s murder? What will become of her twin daughters? The two are only at the beginning of their quest for answers and solutions, and the path they take turns out to be far more torturous and complicated than expected.
By Susan Peterson
If you want any indication of how much I loved this book, I read it in one day! Once I started I couldn’t stop! This book continues the story of Julian and Ellie, who we first met in Magnolia Nights. It’s always fun catching up with characters in a sequel, and I was so happy to spend time with them again.
This book takes readers on an emotional roller coaster. The relationships in this book are so wonderful, loving and complicated. Ashley Farley has such a talent for writing books about families, and especially sisters.
Beyond the Garden is a riveting, heartfelt book about families and parenthood. Just be sure to clear your schedule, because once you start, you will not be able to stop!
By Alvin H Rightler
Beyond the Garden by Ashley Farley is second in her Magnolia series and is storytelling at its best. Although second in the series this could easily be read as a stand-alone as the author fills in enough backstory that the reader is not wondering what is missing.
As Ellie’s story continues, Farley captivates readers with believable characters whose lives and stories are compelling. They each have a past story that is driving life in the present. Ellie is an amazingly strong and vibrant character–her emotions and actions resonate with readers. They are realistically and powerfully depicted as Ellie tries to keep it all together through the desperate situations that come her way.
Lia, her sister, is portrayed realistically too as she struggles with emotional and mental illness. Ellie is caring for Lia’s twin girls and nurturing them in a secure and loving home. Will Lia take her girls back and destroy the family that Ellie and Julian are creating? I loved Ellie’s relationship with her father who is supportive and so involved in Ellie’s family.
The story is riveting and moves quickly with a few twists and turns that I did not see coming. The story is permeated with love, mystery, drama, and emotional tension as the author tackles sensitive and gritty subjects–mental illness, foster care, blended families, murder, heartache.
Beyond the Garden is a story of family, what it should look like and what it doesn’t, a story of sisters, a story of a woman discovering herself in the role of being a mother and wife…a story from a talented author not to be missed.
Please click HERE to find Beyond the Garden on Amazon.