Once Upon A Book Club Box: January
This month the book included in the box for our magical enjoyment was "In the Light of the Garden" by Heather Burch. This may actually be my favorite read out of all the box selections so far.
Inheriting her grandparents’ island estate on Florida’s Gulf coast is a special kind of homecoming for thirty-one-year-old Charity Baxter. Raised by a narcissistic single mother, Charity’s only sense of a loving home comes from childhood summers spent with Gramps and Grandma. But piercing her fondest memories is her sharpest grief—the death of her beloved grandmother, when Charity stopped believing in the magical healing power of the weeping willow that still casts a shadow on their property.
Now that Charity has returned, she’s full of longing and regret, until she befriends her neighbor Dalton Reynolds, who has come to Gaslamp Island carrying his own heartache. As other exiles arrive—a great uncle harboring secrets, a teenage runaway—Charity begins to reconsider what makes a family. When her own estranged mother shows up in crisis, Charity is challenged to search her heart for forgiveness. But forgiving herself may require a little magic from the last place she’d expect to find it.
This book was the selection for the January Once Upon A Book Club Box and I was dazzled by it.
This book was a reminder that I should be open to more genres outside of my usual staples, and that behind the fun colorful cover there can be a world full of the unexpected.
This book deals mostly with forgiveness, something that I imagine that all of us struggle with to some degree. We each bring our own experiences to the table whenever we do anything, but especially when we read a book and I was so moved by what it means to forgive, particularly in the wake of loss.
There is enough magic in this book that it could be considered magical realism to some degree, but it's the people populating the island who have the most everyday magic. There is a special moment with a widow and a looking glass that I don’t want to spoil, but it may be my favorite part in the story and I look forward to gushing about it with anyone else who reads the book.
Page 14: A fabulous purse/clutch- I love this purse! I never would have bought it for myself, but as it’s inspired by a purse that is shield-like in its design and quality I could use some of this beauty in my wardrobe.
Page 44: Drawstring bag full of a “special ingredient” and a note from Charity’s Grandfather- I’m not going to lie, when I first opened this gift I panicked! What was I holding? Was I going to spill, I don’t know, ashes all over the place? But then, tucked in the pages at the end of the book was a card that explained that the content was Bentonite clay, commonly used in face masks! Included was a recipe for making your own mocha mud mask. Swoon.
Page 166: Storage container with photograph- Inspired by the trunk with a secret compartment in the bottom that belonged to Charity’s grandmother, this adorable little box had a photograph squirreled away under one of the compartments. This photo revealed a family secret that changed a lot of Charity’s perceptions about their history.
Page 187: An umbrella- stormy weather plays a big part in one of the ore dramatic scenes in the book. The bright green and white color is uplifting, sure to bring delight on even the gloomiest of rainy days.
And some news!
For those of you who have been holding out on signing up for the box because contemporary women’s lit and historical lit aren’t your thing, there will be a YA box launching this spring!!
How fantastic is that? So many of our favorite adventures come from the world of YA and I can’t wait to see them brought to life with surprise gifts.
What do you think? Are you excited for the new box?
Did you enjoy this month’s box?