Kath here again! Bestselling author and valued contributor Barbara O’Neal’s latest novel The Garden of Happy Endings, has released today, and we’re thrilled to be able to have her share her writer’s journey with us. Kirkus calls it a warm romance “about the healing powers of nature, love and community.” Fans of Barbara’s writing know that she’s a master at crafting compelling characters who must make tough decisions — and the outcome isn’t always easily resolved. There’s a reason why she keeps winning awards and accolades in a competitive women’s fiction market. Check out why The Garden of Happy Endings is going to be a perfect addition to your summer reading list.
Q: What’s the premise of your new book?
BO: Two sisters each have their lives turned upside town. Elsa, the younger and spiritual one, has created a life of simplicity and teaching when a brutal sexual assault and murder shatters her faith–for the third time. She returns to her home town, to her sister, and her best friend, former fiancé, Joaquin, who is now a priest. Tamsin, the beauty, has built a more material life with a husband and child and a beautiful home. She’s a quilter and a lady of the manor whose husband disappears just before he is to be indicted. Tamsin is blinded, and loses everything. Joaquin, now known as Father Jack, charges the pair with creating a community garden in a crime-infested, dump of a vacant lot. It is a story of faith–the faith we have in ourselves, in other people, in the possibilities of spiritual beings, in art, in family.
Q: What would you like people to know about the story itself?
BO: This is a story about the questions we all ask–why do bad things happen? How do people get through them? One of my favorite reviews said this is not a story about God, but it doesn’t shy away from God. Elsa’s faith–or lack thereof–is in God. But Tasmin’s takes a different tack: her art and her home. Her daughter has faith inSpain. What gets you through the night? It’s different for all of us.
Q: What do your characters have to overcome in this story? What challenge do you set before them? [Read more…]