Gardenias

( 1 )

Overview

"It is 1942, only a month after the United States has joined World War II, and everything is in upheaval, including the Erhardt family. Lark, her mother Arlene, and Aunt Betty are leaving Harvester, Minnesota, breaking away from their Depression-era lives to seek new opportunities in California. Arlene has boldly left her husband behind - he gambled away the money she'd saved to build the house of her and Lark's dreams. She brings Lark and Betty reluctantly in her wake." In San Diego, Arlene settles the family into a wartime housing project and
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Overview

"It is 1942, only a month after the United States has joined World War II, and everything is in upheaval, including the Erhardt family. Lark, her mother Arlene, and Aunt Betty are leaving Harvester, Minnesota, breaking away from their Depression-era lives to seek new opportunities in California. Arlene has boldly left her husband behind - he gambled away the money she'd saved to build the house of her and Lark's dreams. She brings Lark and Betty reluctantly in her wake." In San Diego, Arlene settles the family into a wartime housing project and secures a promising office job at Consolidated Aircraft. Betty finds work at a department store, and Lark, often left alone, navigates the bare yards of her new neighborhood. She avoids the boys who roam in threatening packs and meets Shirley, an unkempt girl who latches on to the family. Desperately homesick, Lark nevertheless attentively observes her new surroundings - the crowds who fill the plaza downtown, the junk man whose furniture they buy on credit, and the neighbors who, like her, have arrived from all across the country. Every day she waters a scraggly gardenia bush in the side yard and wonders if it will bloom.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Seventeen years ago, Sullivan's novel The Cape Ann introduced readers to six-year-old Lark Ernhardt and the town of Harvester, MN. In this follow-up novel, nine-year-old Lark, her newly separated mother, and Aunt Betty have moved to California to forge a new life. Set during World War II, the story follows the family and its new friends as they struggle to reconcile their pasts and the present. Lark is particularly challenged by her relationship with Shirley, a young girl who, while she fails to befriend Lark, is welcomed into their home by Aunt Betty. Although Sullivan writes competently, she fails to engage the reader fully. It seems that the author just doesn't have the same feel for wartime California as she does for Harvester, or perhaps the bleakness of wartime fails to warm Gardenias. Still, the novel is sure to be in demand in collections that feature Sullivan's previous works.-Caroline M. Hallsworth, City of Greater Sudbury, Ont. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571310521
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions
  • Publication date: 7/28/2006
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 381
  • Sales rank: 823,562
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Faith Sullivan
Faith Sullivan was born and raised in southern Minnesota.  Married to drama critic Dan Sullivan, she lived twenty-some years in New York and Los Angeles, returning frequently to Minnesota to keep her roots firmly planted in the prairie.  Since 1989 she has lived in Minneapolis.
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Customer Reviews

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