Cover Image: The Green House

The Green House

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Member Reviews

I would think that this book qualifies as a novella. It lasts just over a week in the storyline, with each day bringing something to the plot.
Faith plays a pretty important part in the narrative towards the end and added something to the story instead of taking over as a prominent point.
We begin at a greenhouse where a man is picking up the flower of the week for his wife. As he heads in for his routine coffee, he finds an upturned chair and nothing else. Given their reclusive behaviour, he has no action that he can take. The hints about his past are slowly unravelled as we are given an increasingly detailed picture of his past and the demons that haunt him. It is written in a manner that draws you in, and despite the length of the text, it provides a whole story with enough to feel closure towards the end. 
Loss is handled extensively here, and it is the core concern of all the people introduced to us. It was a surprisingly heavy read but felt unique in the style.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers; the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.
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Girard and wife Miriam have been married for a long time and are haunted by a previous tragedy.  One day Miriam goes out in the car, unusual in itself, but doesn’t return.  I loved the cover and I loved the description but found everything else tedious.  Too many words, not much action, or conversation.  I read as much of the book as I could but have to admit it defeated me.  Not really to my taste or maybe not the right moment for it.  No doubt others will love it.
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Grief, flowers, colors, symbolism and heartache.

"What a shame, what a sight. A good love died tonight." - Conway Twitty

Tragedy strikes and not for the first time for Girard. His wife is missing, the car is gone, and police officers are knocking on his door. He knows his wife is missing, he does not know why, and he did not go to the police.... hmmm.... why???? He and his wife have been happily married; he gives her a flower from his greenhouse (76.4 degrees) every day. They married young but are happy, so why does he seem so unaffected by her being missing initially?

As the story progresses, Lawton begins to peel back the layers of Girard and Miriam's story. Tragedy struck 37 years ago, and it takes some time to find out just what that tragedy was. We also learn that Girard has been having panic attacks and goes to therapy. When Stacey their daughter arrives after seeing Girard on the news, I thought things would get better.... but you will need to read to learn more. What I will say that even with less than 200 pages, this is a bit of a slow burn. For once this did not bother to me. I felt this book meandered along its way very much in the way Girard was doing in this book.

This is a book about grief, loss, heartache, secrets, love, marriage, and tragedy. The green house plays a significant role as do the colors of the flowers. The colors represent emotion such as Orange which promotes positivity and encouragement. The use of colors is a great storytelling tool for this book. Each section about the colors represents Girard and Miriam's life and history.

When the ending comes, I was pleasantly surprised in a I-did-not-see-that-coming way.

Thank you to Black Rose Writing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

This was a very unusual and original book. The book really shined with symbolism and I loved the color aspect. The cover is apt as well.

***Bronze Medalist in the Adult Fiction E-Book category for the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY Awards)

***Finalist in the Mystery category for the 2020 Book Excellence Awards

***Finalist in the Fiction category for the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

***Finalist in Literary Fiction for the 2020 American Fiction Awards
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"Seven flowers, seven colors, seven meanings, and one 37-year-old secret—the green house is the keeper of it all. " boasts this unique description and boy does this book deliver on being a unique standout! Girard, his wife Miriam, and daughter Stacey are wrapped up in a forty year old mystery that slowly unravels through glimpses of past events and experiences.   Although toted as a mystery, it would be much better described as a dramatic novel awash in grief and depth of character.  Albeit there is a mystery that is neatly wrapped up before the ending, this book is so much more then that and its easy to forget you are waiting for the next "clue" to solving it!
Very talented author Dan Lawton is closer akin to a poet than an novelist.  What a great read!
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Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC of THE GREEN HOUSE. 

I didn't hate this book; however, I didn't exactly love it either. Going into it, I knew there would be elements of grief, which made me think I would be able to connect with the story that much more. Throughout the book, I felt myself drift away from the main plot, to the point where I didn't realize that this book classifies as a mystery?? I simply don't think that I am the target audience for this type of story.
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Thank you to Netgalley for providing this ARC for me to read and review.
I enjoyed The Green House a lot and would recommend it, with some trigger warnings: miscarriage and alcoholism.
The story itself was very touching and I felt connected to both Girard and his daughter Stacey. Anyone who has lost someone close to them will be able to identify with Girard and Stacey's different expressions of grief. Girard retreats into his greenhouse and compares his current tragedy to another one, 37 years removed. It is satisfying to watch Girard and Stacey repair their strained relationship through their shared sadness, and bond over the flowers in the greenhouse. The flowers themselves add symbolism throughout the story, which in my opinion enhances the experience of the narrative.
The parts of this book I enjoyed less was Lawton's writing style. It was too simple for me, but that is not to say it was bad, it's just a personal preference. There is also a heavy dose of Christian morality within the narrative, which I thought could have been more subtly done. The way it stands feels heavy-handed and preachy.
This is a short book and will fly past. There is never a dull moment and has some well-timed surprises.
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Keeps the action pulsing with enough intrigue to make it hard to turn the virtual pages fast enough.  Thoroughly fleshed-out characters you tend to either like or dislike with enthusiasm.  A great bedtime read that'll keep you engaged till the very end.  Highly recommended!

*This book was provided free of charge in exchange for my honest review.  My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to participate in this program.*
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The Green House is an emotional story of a man coping with guilt, loss, bewilderment, anti-depressants and more. He finds some solace in growing flowers and building / planning / enjoying his greenhouse - a project he loves and shares with his wife.
I was drawn to the book by the description, but unfortunately I didn't connect with the characters or the emotion driving the story. For me, the writing felt quite detached and lacked "feeling" the emotion that it described. However, there is plot intrigue, some interesting characters, and it moves along easily. Some will certainly love it, but it wasn't for me.
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One day, an elderly man named Girard, finds the car gone and his wife missing. It's odd because his wife does not drive. The novel moves forward by telling readers about their lives together. Can Girard move on without his wife?

I found the mystery aspect of this novel engaging especially since it's not of the predictable variety. All of my guesses about what happened were wrong, and I'm not sure even Nancy Drew could have cracked this case. The suspense kept me invested so I managed to move through the details rather quickly. Even though there are flowers, it feels like a perfect fall/winter, moody weather, suspenseful book.

Another element that I loved were the parts about the Green House that held such an important part in the couple's hearts. The excerpts about the meanings behind the flowers gave me much to think about. These parts spoke to me about the growth that happens from mistakes and flaws. The complexities of the characters were peeled back at the perfect pace, so the reader can visualize the growth, and also maintain a certain amount of hope for the characters. It had me asking: Where would mankind be without hope?

The Greenhouse is a thought-provoking read, and I recommend it.

Source: Black Rose Writing via Netgalley gave me an Arc (e-copy) in exchange for a honest review. Thank you!
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What a beautiful read this is.

Girard is an elderly man, whose life clearly contains past tragedy - what that is is gradually revealed as the story unfolds. 

Girard's life is one of routine, morning coffee with his wife Miriam, where he presents her each day with a flower from his green house - each day represented by a different flower. One day, Miriam is not there for coffee, she has disappeared.

As Girard struggles to cope, the green house becomes his sanctuary more than ever - the raw bare tangibility of his emotions as he digs, touches and lies in the soil is overwhelmingly poignant. 

Highly recommended.
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Lots of good reviews and some awards for this, and I can see why. I enjoyed it, and I'll let the other reviews provide more details about why to read this gem. Recommended.

Thanks very much for the review copy!!
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I chose to read The Green House because of the botanic references. But it turned out to be a lot more. This is a sad story (and some aspects of it are triggering for me), but it is also stunning. The characters were lifelike, and the twist was clever. The flowers will stay with me for a long time, and I'll be watching Dan Lawton from now on.
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