In 1916, the world was in turmoil. Europe was embroiled in the first global conflict, and technology was changing the world that people knew.
In New York, two young people – Lillie Whitman, a child of privilege, and Charlie Murphy, a boy from a working class Irish-American background, grew up in New York, but inhabited two different worlds. Then, when Lillie’s father, president of Whitman Construction, hires Charlie to help him care for his ill and widowed mother, the two finally come face to face.
Despite the differences in background, two young people fall in love, and their lives become as intertwined as the two fire thorn bushes Lillie’s father has planted in his garden to honor his own dead wife, whom he dearly loved. Their love, though, is tested to the limit when Charlie decides that he has to follow his friends and go off to Europe to the war.
The Garden of Two, by Vicki-Ann Bush, is a romance, but not of the bodice-ripping, heaving bosom type. It delves deeply into the hearts and souls of its characters with the backdrop of the horrors of one of the most vicious wars of the modern age – a war of mud, trenches, and poison gas. In doing so, it shows the many faces of humanity and teaches the lesson that might seem trite, but in Bush’s hands is profound – love does, in the end, conquer all.
The author provided me the manuscript of this novel for review, and while I’m not usually a romance reader, I found myself immersed in Lillie and Charlie’s world; unable to stop reading until the end – and, I promise you, it’s an ending that will leave you breathless and in tears.