All the Pretty Places
A Novel of the Gilded Age
by Joy Callaway
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Pub Date 09 May 2023 | Archive Date 09 Jun 2023
Joy Callaway returns with a captivating story of a strong woman in a striking setting, examining the life-changing effects of the beauty of nature and how that splendor is restricted to the rich and privileged in the Gilded Age.
1893: In the little town of Rye, New York, it seems everyone—like the rest of the country—is in an economic panic. Once acclaimed for its rare and exotic plant species, Rye Nurseries—the largest nursery on the East Coast—is the supplier of choice for the most respected landscape architects, but now businesses in the community seem to close by the handful weekly. The threat to her family’s livelihood keeps twenty-two-year-old Sadie Fremd up at night. Her father seems unconcerned by the crisis and is determined to pass the nursery on to one of his sons—despite Sadie’s ardent study of horticulture. Her dreams are all wrapped up in the nursery, a company on the brink of closing, which would leave hundreds of people out of jobs and Sadie’s dream lost forever.
Sadie encourages her father to seek partnerships with big names of the day—the Rockefellers, Goulds, and Starins, among others—to help their nursery remain stable. As she becomes more involved in the business of natural beauty, she begins to notice something. Outside the gates of mansions owned by the elite, people linger—the mourning, the poor, the struggling. Sadie is forced to reckon with whether only the privileged deserve a right to the beauty she helps inspire. Then a conversation with a man who lost everything changes Sadie’s perspective forever and prompts her to make a choice that has the potential to leave the nursery, her family, and her dreams in ruins.
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It is always amazing that parents and others in society expect ladies to marry without love. What is important only is the man's fortune. Love might come along later. If it does not, so be it. Sadie plans to marry not out of convenience but for passionate love while being a strong business woman in the world of Horticulture and Architecture. These prejudicial views can lead family, friends and employees into living a lie. Covered in secrets life does not meet the level of successful happiness the reader would have hoped to see.
If riches are lost, there is always the life of the poverty stricken person. One man cries after the loss of his career and his wife. He stops at the Friends' estate to look at their gardens. It is the way he copes nowadays until his ship of normalcy comes in again.The families see their marketing occupations as occupying not just a corner of their mind. Work takes up their whole mind because it is the legacy they offer their children. It is their personal globe of the world.
Joy Callaway personalizes the status and thoughts of the wealthy who appear on the society pages.Rich today, poor tomorrow and the doors of friends are shut in your face. It is a harsh truth to read about a woman being treated not like grownups but as children. Instead of allowing women to broaden their pursuits, they narrow a female's future and their dreams. It is an entertaining novel. We see double think: the true woman's view of life is segregated and smothered.
All the Pretty Places: A Novel of the Gilded Age by Joy Callaway is historical fiction that takes us into the beautiful and fascinating world of gardening and horticulture, during the Gilded Age in New York. (My favorite).
I was amazed to read about how this story was based on the author’s ancestors in Rye, New York.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters came alive for me. This is a story woven around real historical facts and people. Adding real events always makes for a wonderful story.
We meet Sadie. She’s a lovable character, driven and hard working. She is determined to get her father’s attention to take over the family business when her two brothers leave town to go out into the world on their own.
The family nursery business has collected flora and fauna from around the world and everyone that lives in the area buys their plants from them. It’s a tremendous feat. Sadie wants nothing more than to take over the business but her father has told her she must find a husband by the end of the year. Her heart actually belongs to someone else, other than the boring wealthy suitors that have been paraded before her.
She holds onto her dreams while making a difference.
I always love the Author’s note at the end of a book. We find out a little about Joy Callaway's family history and how it ties to this story.
I enjoyed this book so much. I will be highly recommending it.
Thank you to the Publisher and NetGalley for an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.
I thought this was a cool and an interesting read for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I learned some new things about plants, flowers and gardening.
My favorite thing tho was to find out about the forbidden love and why it was so.
This book will NOT let you put it down until you've read the entire story. It's so worth it!
Her father however I didn't care for but yet at the same time I could see his reasons. He wanted what was best for his family in such perilous times.
It's sad that sometimes we can go out of our way to try and prove or please other people but they don't want to see it.
5 stars for taking my imagination to far away places that I didn't want to come back.
I highly recommend!
My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
The cover is absolutely gorgeous and it makes me want to jump into it.
*I received an ARC of this book from Harper Muse/NetGalley in return for my review.*
First off, historical fiction has never been a genre I've gravitated towards. However, that changed after I read Joy Callaway's 'The Grand Design' (based on Dorothy Draper and the famed Greenbrier Resort several months ago, and I have now read ALL of her wonderful books (and I will continue to do so)! Additionally, the bookstore by which I am employed also held an author reading with Callaway, and I will say that she is also personally a delight to hear speak.
Now, onto 'All the Pretty Places...' I will have to say that despite not having as much of a direct connection with this book as I did 'The Grand Design' (I am a West Virginian, after all), I found it to be just as satisfying of a read. It is well-researched — make sure to read the note at the end about Callaway's family history and how it ties to this story — and the floral imagery is beautifully descriptive. The narrative is thoughtfully written in regards to the time period and setting, and I found myself rooting for the main character to win in both her career and love (I am also glad that she remained ambitious and did not disregard her dreams in favor of settling down despite the familial and societal pressure).
I highly recommend this new work, and I cannot wait for its release in May so that others can enjoy it as much as I did! I will be talking this one up in 2023 just as much as I have 'The Grand Design' in 2022!
I really enjoyed Joy Callaway's previous novel about the Greenbriar Resort and knew immediately how much I would enjoy this one. It's a breath of fresh air! Such vivid descriptions that I could practically smell the flowers in my living room. We need more beautiful stories like this!
Joy Callaway does such a great job at inviting the reader into the story world, and ALL THE PRETTY PLACES provides another example of this. Immediately we are sympathetic to Sadie and her quest to further her horticulture career at a time when women are expected to focus on finding a husband. The romance angle with Sam draws the reader in further as Sadie's past decisions implicate her present. The economic climate and the possibility of Sadie's family running out of money adds an additional layer of tension and intrigue.
I especially enjoyed the evocation of the Gilded Age time period and the settings in Rye & NY. Sadie's desire to share nature with everyone regardless of social class is to be commended.
A winner for fans of historical fiction, this would be wonderful for bookclubs.
All the Pretty Places: A Novel of the Gilded Age by Joy Callaway is a wonderful historical fiction and romance that takes us into the beautiful and fascinating worlds of gardening, horticulture, and the joy that it can bring to everyone in the infamous Gilded Age of New York.
I really enjoyed the author’s previous book, The Grand Design, so I was excited to read this one as well.
I love gardening, plants, and the peace, happiness, and health that it brings to oneself, so I was enthralled to read about how this was based on a true story involving the author’s ancestors in Rye, NY.
I loved everything about the book. The inspired character cast, the inclusion of real events, places, and times, the fictional narrative attached…but most of all…I loved the descriptions and pages of plants, flowers, landscapes, architecture, and the satisfying ending. The positive message was also very uplifting and needed.
The author’s note explaining her inspirations and relatives really added to my reading experience.
Thank you NG and Harper Muse for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 5/9/23.
If you love historical fiction with a little bit of forbidden romance this book is for you! Sadie is strong minded and meets her match going head to head with her German father to purse her hopes and dreams instead of becoming another woman of society. An excellent read, I could not put down. I was also surprised to find that the book is based on the Authors family history! Love that!
The only thing I may add, none to which the authors fault. The Harper Muse branding on every, single, page, and lack of actual chapter formatting was very distracting as a reader. Obviously it will not be in the finished copy but still it was far too much even for an ARC.
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