ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Susannah's Garden

Updated on October 24, 2012
aliciaharrell profile image

Alicia has been a Columnist and Reviewer on HubPages for 11 years; became an Author in 2010. Perseverance has been a key to her success.

Front cover of the novel "Susannah's Garden," 2006 edition.
Front cover of the novel "Susannah's Garden," 2006 edition. | Source

Book Review

Susannah's Garden authored by Debbie Macomber is the first book of a series that relates ordinary life stories in a fictional Romance genre format. Back on Blossom Street follows Susannah's Garden in this book series. An excerpt of Back on Blossom Street is located at the back of Susannah's Garden .

For those unfamiliar with Debbie Macomber, she is also the author of Sooner or Later , A Good Yarn, 6 Rainer Drive, This Matter of Marriage plus many other novels. Mrs. Macomber is a very prolific writer. She is regarded in her field, according to the About the Author section in the back of Susannah's Garden , as "a leading voice in women's fiction worldwide." Debbie Macomber's works have appeared on every major bestsellers list, including the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly. She is the recipient of the 2005 Quill Award for Best Romance.

Susannah's Garden is a mystery-romance. The main character Susannah Nelson is fifty years old, married, a mother and teacher. Susannah, after receiving a disturbing call from her mother’s housekeeper, decides to check out her mother’s situation by returning to her childhood home in Colville, Washington. Susannah confidently believes she can assess what is going on with her mother properly in person and can do this alone. Her mother Vivian is a widow to a judge and is suffering from acute memory loss. Susannah knows this is not just a friendly visit for she will have to determine if assisted living would be best for her mother. Susannah feels pangs of guilt, but wisely realizes her mother might not be able to take care of herself.

Susannah’s husband, Joe Nelson is a busy dentist who is willing to assist if she feels he can be of help. In Colville, Washington, Susannah faces the harsh reality to the degree of her mother's memory loss. She finds the refrigerator in need of being stocked, her mother not dressed like she normally is, and Vivian much thinner. Her mother cannot tell Susannah when she last went to the grocery store, but claims she has been eating well. The contents in the refrigerator contradict this. Another concerning aspect is Vivian continues to insist that her deceased husband has been visiting from the grave. Vivian relates how real these visits are. Like most, Susannah takes this as a sign of mental instability. She tries to discuss other things that Vivian should remember or be able to intelligently converse about, but finds her mother incapable. Feeling guilty, yet knowing this step would be the right thing to do for her mother, Susannah begins her campaign of talking Vivian into an assisted living environment. The rest of the main plot is about how this is accomplished and Vivian’s reaction to being thrown out of her home, forced into assisted living against her will, and how Susannah deals with this uncomfortable situation where she is completely at odds with her mother.

This book correctly explores the difficulty from both perspectives of child and parent when it comes to convincing an elderly person they are no longer capable of living by themselves; must move to an assisted living environment. Susannah's Garden poignantly points out how upsetting this is for the person suffering memory loss and how frustrating plus guilt-ridden it is for the person who is forced to help for the sake of the elderly person. This is addressed lovingly and compassionately by Debbie Macomber. She did an expert job explaining this through her usage of a fictional format.

Susannah's Garden does have delicious subplots that give one a momentary break from the main plot. These are written interwoven where one gets to know Susannah better via the subplots. The reader further learns about human nature, love, marriage and the tenuous aspects in a mother-daughter relationship as well as is allowed to participate in a fabulous mystery that gives clues leading toward the perfect surprise ending.

Susannah’s Garden ’s contents are the kind that could happen in real life. Debbie Macomber did an excellent portrayal of three women who represent three different generations in a family. She showed how similar, yet dissimilar these women are as well as how their love for each other gives them strength and unity as a family. Her exploration of women and their long term lady friendships was a nice bonus.

Susannah’s Garden is also about personal growth. It teaches good parents sometimes do things that children do not like in order to protect them for the seedier side of society. This book further relates the importance of one’s friends and spouse during difficult times; how great it is to have their compassion and support.

Susannah's Garden is well written in contemporary English and is superbly crafted. It is not a book just for women, my husband found it interesting and a good read. He hopes they make a movie out of this book; believes it would be a great movie.

For those who do not care for the typical Romance genre books, give Susannah’s Garden a try. This is no ordinary Romance genre book, one thinks along with the main character. Mystery lovers this book is definitely one not to miss reading. Please place Susannah’s Garden on your must-read list; you will be glad you did.


5 stars for Susannah's Garden by Debbie Macomber

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)