"Susannah's Garden" by Debbie Macomber is loosely tied to the knitting series, which includes "The Shop on Blossom Street," "A Good Yarn" and a future release, "Back on Blossom Street". More novel than romance, it tells the tale of 50-year-old Susannah Nelson and her complicated relationships with her mother, her daughter, her husband, and her high school sweetheart.
After she's called back to her hometown to care for her increasingly senile mother, Susannah must face the truth about her late father and how his actions changed the course of her life. While there, she reconnects with her best friend from high school and searches for her former boyfriend.
The book also features Susannah's mother, Vivian, and how she copes with leaving the home and garden she always loved so much.
There's a tidy little mystery involved, when someone breaks into Vivian's house and steals seemingly insignificant mementos belonging to Doug, the brother who was killed in an accident when Susannah was young. As with most Debbie Macomber books, "Susannah's Garden" has a lot of "daddy issues" woven into family conflict and tragedy. There's not much romance, but it's a touching look at mother-daughter relationships. The final chapter brings Susannah to Blossom Street, linking her story to the other books in the knitting series.
When Susannah Nelson turned eighteen, her parents sent her to school abroad. She said goodbye to her boyfriend, Jake - and never saw him again. She never saw her brother again, either; Doug died in a car accident while she was away.
Now, at fifty, she finds herself regretting the paths not taken. Especially the chance to be with Jake . . . Long married, a mother and a teacher, she should be happy. But she feels there's something missing, although she doesn't know exactly what. Not only that, she's balancing the demands of an aging mother and a temperamental twenty-year-old daughter.
Because her mother, Vivian, a recent widow, is having difficulty coping and living alone, Susannah prepares to make some hard decisions. In returning to her hometown of Colville, Washington, to her parents' house, her girlhood friends and the garden she's always loved, she also returns to the past - and the choices she made back then.
What she discovers is that things are not always as they once seemed. Some paths are dead ends. But some gardens remain beautiful . . .