The Memory Garden by Mary Rickert
Bay Singer knows nothing of her past. She lives alone with her mother Nan who is mocked by the community as a “witch” of sorts, putting out shoes all over the lawn with flowers planted in them. While Bay is protective of her mother, she is getting to the age where she wants to know more about her life and about her secretive mother. Nan is just not sure if Bay really knows what she is asking… the secrets of her birth… the caul… the box… and of course Nan’s own teenage past and the tragedies it holds within.
Reading The Memory Garden was like walking through a fairytale that shimmers with fantasy but at the same time feels so real. I liked Bay, and I liked Nan, and I really liked the two mysterious friends of Nan’s who come popping out of the past to help set things right after so many years.
The chapters each start with a flower or budding plant and gives you a little sample of what this flower can be used for:
PUMPKIN The round, edible fruit of a trailing vine, pumpkins are a symbol of fertility. Dead spirits are invoked by the pumpkin when faces are carved into it, and it is lit from within. The spiral of life is represented by the pumpkin; the harvest brings death, but the seeds bring birth.
It is a delightful fun romp of friendships and fantasy, secrets and celebrations, and well worth a read!