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The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns By Margaret Dilloway


This book is about roses - the kind that grow in the ground. But it's also about people who are often thorny, and people who need careful attention, like roses, in order to thrive. "Gal" [whose mother, just back from the Holy Land, named her Galilee] is a single biology teacher waiting for a kidney transplant, who tends her roses like children. Roses are more than a hobby for her -- they keep her sane in a world of dialysis and hopeless hope.

Into Gal's life comes her niece, Riley, who has been jostled from mother to grandparents, and now to "Aunt Gal". Riley is thorny, but with a lot of love and patience learns to trust. Riley's mother is thorny - and Gal wonders if she can every truly be a "mother". And, Gal herself is thorny -- she's developed this thick skin which insulates her and isolates her, and she, too, needs to be cared for and handled carefully.

The ending is not what the reader would wish, nor is it exactly what Gal would wish, but it is a very gratifying ending nonetheless.

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