Eve's Garden
by Glenda Bailey-Mershon

Twisted Road Publications, 2014. ISBN 978-1-940-18904-8.
Reviewed by Lee Ambrose
Posted on 09/03/2015

Fiction: Multicultural; Fiction: Historical; Fiction: Mainstream

Reading Eve's Garden is akin to taking a journey that crosses continents, explores cultures, and vacillates back and forth through the years of 1919 to 1973. The beauty in Bailey-Mershon's story is the way in which she develops incredibly strong female characters and evokes a strong sense of place.

Eve Gates wants to escape the small Southern mill town where her family goes about its daily life. Eve and her mother, Maisie, are often at odds. Her best friend has encountered an unspeakable tragedy. And, certain that there is a deep dark mystery that her mother and her aunts are keeping from her about the grandmother she never knew, Eve wants to know more about her Romani roots.

In time, Eve gradually realizes that the strong women in her life are bound by the power of friendship and family, even when trying to shield her from prejudice and loss.

This exquisite portrait of a group of people who are often misunderstood, ostracized, and/or vilified is filled with elements of mystery, romance, and history. It is a work of art in its own right, a work that will linger in your thoughts long after reading the last page.

Born in Upstate South Carolina, Glenda Mariah Bailey-Mershon is an American poet, essayist, novelist, cultural historian, and human rights activist. While her family roots are in the Southern Appalachians, she has also explored her European, Native American and Romani heritage in her poetry and fiction. Her published works include the novel, Eve's Garden; Bird Talk:Poems; saconige/blue smoke: Poems from the Southern Appalachians; A History of the American Women's Movement: A Study Guide, and four volumes as editor of the Jane's Stories anthologies by women writers. Eve's Garden is her first novel. Visit her website.

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