Beyond the Garden-Magnolia Series
All is right in Ellie Pringle Hagood’s world. Recently married to the man of her dreams and in anticipation of the big family she’s always wanted, she focuses on restoring the large home she inherited from her grandmother on Charleston’s prestigious Battery. Abbott, the father she adores, lives just down the street from her. She treasures her beloved housekeeper, Maddie, who offers wise counsel and loving support, and is the closest thing to a mother she’s ever known. Two days a week, she volunteers for an art program she piloted at an elementary school. But then, in the midst of all her happiness, comes news that throws Ellie’s life into a tailspin. Her brother-in-law has been murdered in Key West, and her sister, Lia, is wanted for questioning in the investigation. No one in Ellie’s family has seen or heard from Lia in the seven months since she disappeared and left her twin three-year-old daughters in Ellie and Julian’s care. The newlyweds, with several questions nagging at them, fly off to Key West in search of the missing sister. Where is Lia? How is she connected to her husband’s murder? What will become of her twin daughters? The two are only at the beginning of their quest for answers and solutions, and the path they take turns out to be far more torturous and complicated than expected.
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Farley has gifted her readers with another mesmerizing novel in Beyond the Garden (Magnolia Series #2)! I believe you need to read Magnolia Nights (Magnolia Series #1) first in order to fully understand the backstory. From the opening page to the last word, this novel is riveting. You will be drawn into the complexity of the characters and the plot. You will feel the suspense throughout the novel. It is a story of sister vs. sister, good vs. evil and the past vs. future. This novel has it all – lots and lots of love, excitement for the future, open hearts, heartache, murder, mystery, mental health issues and what is really means to be a family.
The story is riveting and moves quickly with a few twists and turns that I did not see coming. The story is permeated with love, mystery, drama, and emotional tension as the author tackles sensitive and gritty subjects–mental illness, foster care, blended families, murder, heartache. Beyond the Garden is a story of family, what it should look like and what it doesn’t, a story of sisters, a story of a woman discovering herself in the role of being a mother and wife…a story from a talented author not to be missed.
Oh my gosh, what a touching book — keep the tissues handy. One sister with a big heart, wanting children so badly. Her twin sister who is uncaring, greedy, and is able to have children of her own. “Giving birth to chil’run doesn’t make a woman a good mother.” You enter a story where children are in need of a loving home, a murder has taken place and a family is at odds.
Ashley Farley is such a captivating author. Her characters and storyline flows through the pages and into the hearts of her readers. I love her descriptive writing style. The characters in this story are powerful and vibrant and you feel their emotions as if they are your own. Farley deals with real world issues such as blended families, heartbreak, mental illness in this one. I simply could not put this one down.
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