No one expects love to bloom after a cancer diagnosis, but breast cancer survivor Mary Anne Mohanraj has written a heartfelt romance about two people finding each other at a difficult time in their lives.
Kate Smith, an aspiring artist facing a difficult cancer diagnosis, and Devan McLeod, a flower shop owner, meet when they are both experiencing life changes. They’re surprised to find that in opening themselves up to each other, they open a new path forward in their lives. This little book intercuts poems the author wrote over the course of her own cancer year with a garden romance. It draws on the experiences of the author, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and successfully treated with chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Mohanraj is an enthusiastic Chicagoland amateur gardener, and during treatment, she took great solace in her garden. She hopes this book bring solace and joy to its readers.
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“Can I help you?” The woman in the front section of Devan McLeod’s garden shop had been wandering aimlessly about the store for a full twenty minutes. Usually he tried not to pester the customers; after eleven years in America, he still hadn’t dropped all of his more reserved habits; his Scottish father had been the strong, silent type. But his Indian mother came from shopkeeper roots, and he could just hear her scolding him now. Take care of your customers, son, and they’ll take care of you. He really ought to Skype them; it’d been too long.
“I’m sorry,” she said, blinking up at him. January in Oak Park meant that she had entered his shop swathed in what his wife had used to call sleeping bag coats – the kind of puffy coat that covered you from head to ankles. But Devan kept the shop warm and humid, for the customers as well as the plants, and the woman had already unbuttoned her coat, stuffed gloves in her pocket, and unwrapped her scarf, revealing brown curls, bright blue eyes, and a mouth that looked like it wanted to smile. “I don’t really know what I want – your window just looked so lovely.”