Published by Kindle Press on April 10th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller
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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.
This is the second installment in the Magolia Seires. I read the first book Magnolia Nights and completely taken with the characters, and their story. While this couple be read as a stand-alone lone book, I would certainly tell you to read the first book too, this does give you some back story of the main characters, but reading the first book will tell you how they got to where they are today, in their current situations. Plus the first book was amazing, so of course I’d recommend it.
The last several months, Ellie and her husband Julian have been caring for her sister, Lia’s two daughters with out hesiation. I wouldn’t expect anything less of Ellie either. Ellie and Lia might be twins, but they couldn’t be more different. I believe it had to do with their upbringing, both were brought up in very different homes. Ellie is such a strong and independent woman, who loves with all her heart. She’s been volunteering at the local elementary school teaching children something that is dear to her heart, art.
Lia. Has had her fair share of problems during her life. Drug addiction, abuse, and her upbringing wasn’t all the great of an environment, and I think this was her way of dealing with it. And having mental health issues on top of all of that, doesn’t help. Some of the decisions she makes are just plain selfish espeically that she had now has 2 beautiful daughters. Her struggle with mental health was something that made my heart go out to her though, I know all to well who bipolar disorder does to your life. I wanted to root for her, she made it so hard with her greediness and abandonment of her children.
Julian was just as amazing as I remember him being in the first book. So understanding and patient. No wonder Ellie was so in love with this man. Abbott, her father played a much larger role this time around and I just adored him. He was willing to help his girls in good times and in bad.
The story itself had a few little side plots going on, however they all played into the bigger picture. You have Ellie and Julian’s need for a child of their own. Julian’s daughter from a previous marriage living situation. A little girl that Ellie taught at school, and her journey. A murder mystery, and the search for Lia. All of this together had my emotions all over the place. The way that Farley writes is simply amazing. To have my heart be broken and warmed at the same time is something I don’t get all the time when reading this genre. But Farley did just that.
Beyond the Garden is a beautiful story of family dynamics and love, blended families and mental health issues. Have you tissues handy…
First in the Series:
Family dynamic, forgiveness and love... Review for Beyond the Garden (Magnolia Series #2) by Ashley Farley @AshleyWFarley #BeyondTheGarden #NetGalley #KindlePress #adult #contemporary #romance #fiction #review #ARC Click To Tweet