A Novel of the Gilded Age
On Sale: May 9, 2023
Paperback / e-Book
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Women's Fiction Historical
Joy Callaway returns with a captivating story of a strong woman in a striking setting, examining the life-changing effects of the beauty of nature and how that splendor is restricted to the rich and privileged in the Gilded Age.
1893: In the little town of Rye, New York, it seems everyone—like the rest of the country—is in an economic panic. Once acclaimed for its rare and exotic plant species, Rye Nurseries—the largest nursery on the East Coast—is the supplier of choice for the most respected landscape architects, but now businesses in the community seem to close by the handful weekly. The threat to her family’s livelihood keeps twenty-two-year-old Sadie Fremd up at night. Her father seems unconcerned by the crisis and is determined to pass the nursery on to one of his sons—despite Sadie’s ardent study of horticulture. Her dreams are all wrapped up in the nursery, a company on the brink of closing, which would leave hundreds of people out of jobs and Sadie’s dream lost forever.
Sadie encourages her father to seek partnerships with big names of the day—the Rockefellers, Goulds, and Starins, among others—to help their nursery remain stable. As she becomes more involved in the business of natural beauty, she begins to notice something. Outside the gates of mansions owned by the elite, people linger—the mourning, the poor, the struggling. Sadie is forced to reckon with whether only the privileged deserve a right to the beauty she helps inspire. Then a conversation with a man who lost everything changes Sadie’s perspective forever and prompts her to make a choice that has the potential to leave the nursery, her family, and her dreams in ruins.
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