Cover Image: The Lily Garden

The Lily Garden

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The Lily Garden by Barbara Josselsohn
Source: NetGalley and Bookouture
Rating: 3/5 stars

The Bottom Line:  I’m not sure I can agree with the tagline of “A heart-warming, feel-good summer romance.”  While there is a bit of romance in this book, it certainly isn’t a particularly heart-warming, feel-good read.  There is a load of drama in this book from the strained relationship between Caroline and her family to the long-held secret about Caroline’s relocation from Lake Summers to Chicago so many years ago.  What’s more, Aaron’s story is anything but heart-warming and feel-good as he grapples with a reality he is trying to come to grips with.  Finally, there is the fight to save the Lily Garden which is just about the only truly uplifting part of this book.  I enjoyed the setting of this book immensely and the great sense of community, but beyond that, I can’t say I loved this read especially given the billing versus the reality of the read.  I expected something a bit lighter and can’t honestly say I was pleasantly surprised by the heavier read.  I can see this book appealing to a great many readers, but it missed the mark a bit for me.
Was this review helpful?
A lovely heart warming and uplifting story.
This was a lovely book and a real pleasure to read..

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
A lovely story with all the great elements for womans fiction, family secrets to uncover, a good storyline and great characters..... and being a gardener a garden at the centre of it.  Well worth reading
Was this review helpful?
A heartwarming and beautiful story about family, those you are born with and those you have chosen.  Caroline switches her planned two week vacation with her daughter, Lee, to go home to where she has good memories of her mother and father.  Caroline’s parents died when she was young, and she spent years living with Maxine and her sons.  When her successful and wealthy aunt found out about her, Risa brought Caroline to Chicago, a move that resulted in Caroline losing touch with Maxine.  Back to town when she hears that the library plans to expand and utilize the garden and footbridge her mother created out of love for the town, Caroline returns to fight the plan to preserve her mother’s legacy.  Told with warmth, and filled with relatable and likable characters, I recommend this book to lovers of women’s fiction.  Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
This book!!!!!! I am blowing it a few kisses, it really is amazing!
I am soooo excited to have read it.
I haven't read this author before but I will be definitely be looking up other books by her.
The story is sweet,sad and absolutely wonderful!
The author is able to so strongly convey what our main character is trying so hard to accomplish for her mother.
All about dreams and the continuation of them and discovering family bonds before it's too late.
Hope,love,self understanding and discovery play an important role in this book.
I can't recommend this women's fiction book enough so do yourself a favor and read this feel great book!

Pub Date 02 Jul 2021
I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This is such a lovely book. The author has masterfully included all the right elements for a satisfying family story with a touch of romance amid a beautiful historic garden at the heart of the story.  I loved the gentleness of this  book as the story weaved through the importance of a Mother's garden to her daughter and granddaughter.  This is a must read for the best summer book you will read this year. I loved the gardens, the charcters and the well crafted story. I highly recommend this book for your reading enjoyment. 

Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley. My review opinion is my own .
Was this review helpful?
Caroline finds out that her mother’s garden in Lake Summers is going to be torn down. When Caroline left thirty years ago she never looked back and didn’t even talk about her childhood. After her mother’s sudden passing a distant aunt came to claim her and moved her to another state and gave her a whole new life. Now she’s a mother and her daughter will be going off to college soon and she can’t help but wonder about the people who she left behind, and how she can help save the only tangible thing left of her mother.
Caroline and her daughter are welcomed back with open arms into the home that feels like she never left. It really does feel good to be around her mother’s friends who were more like family, but why didn’t they want to raise her? Caroline is going through many changes in her life and it feels like a very confusing time. She will have to decide if the fight with the city is worth saving the garden, she will have to let go of the firm grip she has in her daughter, and she’ll need to heal old wounds and find forgiveness in order to move on and be happy.
Was this review helpful?
Just finished Barbara Josselsohn‘s The Lily Garden. It was a lovely read, and especially in this kind of weather (it‘s been pouring for days) it was lovely to imagine the beautiful garden that the protagonist‘s mum had built. If you‘re looking for a heart-warming story, try this one. 😊
Was this review helpful?
An emotionally satisfying small town romance perfect for curling up with on a warm summer afternoon with a glass of something sparkly, Barbara Josselsohn’s The Lily Garden is a story about coming home, old ghosts and healing from the past perfect for Debbie Macomber and Robyn Carr fans.

Caroline never imagined that she would return to Lake Summers. The town is full of painful memories and a constant reminder of the loss of her parents. When Caroline hears that the lily garden her mother had built and looked after so lovingly is going to be destroyed, she vows to do whatever it takes to save her beloved mother’s legacy. Dropping everything at her Chicago office, Caroline and her daughter head to Lake Summers where they are welcomed with open arms by Maxine, her mother’s dear friend. Caroline immediately gets to work to try and save the lily garden. But she soon realises that she isn’t the only one who wants to rescue it. Handsome historian Aaron also wants to help her in her quest to leave the lily garden intact and as she begins to spend more and more time with him, her feelings for him quickly intensify.

However, when Caroline finds out that Aaron has his own reasons for being in Lake Summers and for wanting to save the lily garden, she begins to wonder just how well she knows the man she has fallen head over heels in love with. Can she trust Aaron? Does he have any more secrets he hasn’t divulged yet? As more shocking revelations come to light, Caroline makes another painful discovery about the day her mother died, leading her to wonder whether her dream to call Lake Summers home again has been shattered once and for all.

Will Caroline have to give up the man and the people who have come to mean the world to her? Or will she realise that there is no place she’d rather be than Lake Summers?

Charming and emotional and full of warmth and heart, Barbara Josselsohn’s The Lily Garden is a gorgeous romantic escape set in a beautiful town I’d move to in a heartbeat. A poignant, feel-good and captivating tale about family secrets, new beginnings and falling in love when you least expect it that is brilliantly layered with drama, pathos and intensity, Barbara Josselsohn’s The Lily Garden is a wonderful summertime romance readers will thoroughly enjoy.
Was this review helpful?
I have never read a Barbara Josselsohn novel before, but I’m sure glad I read THE LILY GARDEN! What a beautiful story! I’m very excited to read her previous books now. This absorbing story combines both the beautiful sensory details of a summer lake town with heartfelt characters, a moving plot, and a story with so much depth. THE LILY GARDEN is a lovely read with characters I rooted for, and some lovely sensory details that brought the town of Lake Summers to life. I highly recommend this story if you need a complete escape from life.

THE LILY GARDEN explores family dynamics, loss, secrets, and a new romance! Barbara Josselsohn handles difficult topics and has the reader cheering for everyone to succeed. When I started reading THE LILY GARDEN, I didn’t know I’d come to love it this much. Where to start? Caroline is such a great character, full of life and warmth. I loved how she didn’t let her past tragedies destroy herself completely. Her decision to come back to Lake Summers is a turning point in her life. I am so happy for that she made this choice. She grew and learned a lot about herself and life itself while being there. The interactions between all the characters in this small town, where everyone knows everyone else, are vividly told and enjoyable to read. Love, hope, second chances and the importance of community are the threads that bind this book together beautifully.

I enjoyed the language, the conversations and the very real feel of THE LILY GARDEN. Caroline goes back to a very special place from her childhood to save her mother’s garden. The town is ready to mow it over and expand the library that sits in front of it. It’s been thirty years since Caroline left Lake Summers and she fears she is too late to stop the garden from being destroyed.

I don’t want to say too much for fear of giving away too much of THE LILY GARDEN, but once I started reading this beautiful and heart breaking story, I could not stop! Everyone should have this unforgettable book on their summer/fall reading list. The dialogue between Caroline and Aaron is sometimes funny and other times frustrating! They both have secrets and without letting them out, they will not be able to move forward. I was instantly emotionally invested in all of the characters from page one and I can not wait to read more by this wonderful and heart tugging author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookouture through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?
Cute book with solid characters. It was easy to read and enjoy. You don’t have to think while reading as the storyline is straight forward.
Was this review helpful?
This book was such a delight. It was a perfect summer read. It was both driven by the characters, but also the setting! Filled with themes that the reader will relate to, which allows the reader to get lost in the story! I cannot recommend this book enough if you want a story that warms the heart and keep you fully engaged cover to cover!
Was this review helpful?
I was immediately drawn to this book by the absolutely beautiful cover 😍 Perfect summer read!

So I struggled to get into The Lily Garden, some parts are the beginning I just felt a little meh about 🤷 But once you got past that and into the story it was much easier to read 🙂

I did feel that some parts were made to be a huge deal when in reality they weren't, that might just be me...

Saying all that, I still actually really enjoyed this one. I loved all the descriptive writing about the garden and it made me think a lot about how I feel when I go back to my old hometown, reminiscing in the past!

I enjoyed the sub plot going on, how even though we were on the quest to stop the destructive of the garden we had lots of other things going on to keep us interested!
Was this review helpful?
This is the perfect, light, uplifting, summer read that you don't know you need. While it is about saving The Lily Garden, it's also so much more than that. There are many sub-plots that keeps the main storyline going. The stories were all so uniquely interesting that I didn't want to set the book down. I loved the small beach town vibes. Those vibes were so strong and well-written that I was feeling like I wanted to move.
Was this review helpful?
It was lovely to watch Caroline’s character emerge as she travelled back to the place she lived as a child, reconnected with the people she considered family and fought her best to save her mother’s garden. A very diffident woman, she begins to assert herself and go after her own happiness. In doing so, she discovers that her version of her childhood and family may not be what it really was. She also finds a way to let go of her daughter, Lee and give her the freedom to discover her place in the world.

Aaron, a lost soul, trying to come to terms with the past and some new and life changing information, is trying to settle into a new job when he meets Caroline and gets absorbed into her ‘family’.

As both of them fall in love, they also begin to heal from their past and work together with the lovely community to find a way to save the garden.

A sweet summer read – a slow romance, family drama, healing the past and a supportive community is the short summary of The Lily Garden.
Was this review helpful?
The Lily Garden is the perfect feel-good summer novel. A story of family and love- every time I read about a small town, I want to move to one 😆 I enjoyed it and it was the perfect escape. Pick The Lily Garden up this summer!
Was this review helpful?
𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐠 𝐓𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰

𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑳𝒊𝒍𝒚 𝑮𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒏
𝑩𝒚: Barbara Josselshn ( @barbara_josselsohn_author )
𝑮𝒆𝒏𝒓𝒆: Fiction, Romance,
𝑷𝒂𝒈𝒆𝒔: 265
𝑭𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒕: @amazonkindle
𝑷𝒖𝒃𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏: @bookouture
𝑹𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝑫𝒂𝒕𝒆: July 2nd 2021
@goodreads 𝑺𝒄𝒐𝒓𝒆: 4.41
𝑴𝒚 𝑺𝒄𝒐𝒓𝒆: 🌸🌸🌸🌸 / 5 𝑭𝒍𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒔

This was my first 𝑩𝒂𝒓𝒃𝒂𝒓𝒂 𝑱𝒐𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒔𝒐𝒉𝒏 book and it was incredibly sweet. When I agreed to read this book for a blog tour ( @chicklitcentral )  just seeing the title I felt a little spark of a 𝑯𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒎𝒂𝒓𝒌 𝑴𝒐𝒗𝒊𝒆 in the making. That is what the sweet town of 𝑳𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝑺𝒖𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒔 did for me. 

Thank you @netgalley, @bookouture and @chicklitcentral for my complimentary copy of "The Lily Garden" for an unbiased review. 

𝑳𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒍𝒆 𝑩𝒊𝒕 𝑷𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒆/𝑴𝒚 𝑻𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔

Single mom Caroline, has had a difficult childhood. She lost both parents by the age of eight and thought she'd be living with her mother's best friend Maxine and her two boys forever in the town of Lake Summer. The only town she has ever known as home. But Caroline ends up meeting her aunt, her mother's sister has shown up and takes Caroline away.  

Flash forward to decades later Caroline is in her mid-thirties and working at her aunt's company. She has a teenage daughter Lee, who is about to start her High School Senior Year and becoming a self-secure young woman.

One day Caroline gets a text from Maxine to say she is very sorry to share this news but that the garden that Caroline's mother created all those decades ago is about to be demolished.

Caroline who has been planning a two-week trip with daughter to go off and see some colleges decides to switch up the plans so that she can go back to Lake Summer and try to save her mother's beloved "Lily Garden".

Upon arriving however, Caroline did not imagine having to face so many new unexpected decisions and awkward conversations. Meeting a new man, saving the Lily Garden, mothering her daughter, and coming to terms with why it took her so long to come back to Lake Summer.  So much rides on Caroline's shoulders, will she be forced to give up or will she become the strong woman she always knew she could be?

This I believe was a sweet family-oriented novel with sweet family banter and a little bit of drama thrown in. The dual chapters of Caroline and Aaron was much refreshing to read and see the man's point of view on his own family drama. 

I enjoyed "The Lily Garden" and hope you will as well. The Lily Garden was published July 2nd 2021 and you can get the Kindle Version right now for only 99¢ on the Kindle App. Or free if you have Unlimited Kindle.
Was this review helpful?
This is the first novel I've read by this author and I enjoyed this.

This is the perfect summer read about a daughter saving her mother's lily garden.

This isnwinderfully written and a refreshing read that I was totally hooked fromnthe start.

It has family drama, sprinkle of romance and a splash of mystery which will keep you reading until the very end to see what happens.
Was this review helpful?
The Lily Garden served as my introduction to the work of Barbara Josselsohn. Readers who enjoy heartwarming stories in a small town setting should pick up a copy of this wonderful story. Read on and see why it would make the perfect summer read.

The story introduces Caroline, a widow and single mom, to a seventeen-year-old. Caroline currently works in her Aunt’s textile company. The same aunt who raised her from she was twelve years old. She has accepted the life she had living in Chicago, but she wants more for her daughter. Although she had fond memories of her childhood home prior to and after losing her parents where she lived with her mom’s best friend for four years, she never returned to her roots. 

Amid preparing for a two-week vacation, which included college tours with her daughter Lee, she received a heart breaking message. Her mother’s lily garden faced imminent destruction, causing her to change her plans and make an unplanned trip to the place she once called home. While there she meets Aaron, a history professor, who  recently moved to Lake Summers to take up a professorship at the local university.

Aaron grapples with issues stemming from a recent discovery. However, meeting Caroline proved a welcome distraction.

Caroline exhibited immense growth as the story progressed. I enjoyed watching her leaving her comfort zone and embracing the challenges surrounding the lily garden. Also, I cheered for her when she began making decisions for herself. The secondary characters with their words and actions added to richness of the story.

I loved the relationship Caroline had with her daughter. It reminded so much of the one I shared with my mom. Also, I found the developing romance between Caroline and Aaron to be ok. It received little page time, making it difficult to connect with them as a couple.

The synopsis hinted at a terrible secret, one which I waited eagerly to be revealed. The big reveal occurred almost at the end, which I found sad rather than terrible. I must admit I teared up at the revelation. Also, several misunderstandings in relation to the past were cleared up, which allowed for healing to begin. 

One of my biggest peeves is a story ending without there being closure to the issues and leaving me to make my own conclusions. The story ended in such a fashion, leaving with unanswered questions.


Despite my issue with the ending, I enjoyed this heartwarming and uplifting story of family, friendship and love.
Was this review helpful?
The Lily Garden is a medium paced story that is heart warming, emotional and has more than on layer...
I like how Josselsohn has explored the relationship and bond between mother and daughter at an important life stage...
I did notice some typos and felt that the story left me with more questions than answers in regards to what was going to happen!
The character development of The Lily Garden is ok. The characters were relatable and friendly. I like the fact that Caroline was a strong female character but she really needed to start thinking for herself instead of pandering to others. I also felt that Aaron and Caroline had an ok chemistry but it wasn't really explored enough to gain a connection...
I would recommend reading The Lily Garden to lovers of Women's Fiction, as it is a character driven story based on confronting the past and learning the importance of family and friendship...
Was this review helpful?