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** spoiler alert ** A Garden ENCLOSED is a true short story about Marlena McBride, a lady who existed for a short time and then seemed to disappear without a trace, under some very unusual circumstances. Marlena McBride had contact with other people and lived in a quaint home where she tended her beautiful garden. Before purchasing her home she had gone to college, was known by many in her community, had a floral boutique, and even practiced law. Later in her life Marlena had moved back to her home town. The sudden death of her father came only a few short weeks after her mother had passed. McBride never did have a close relationship with her parents, especially her father, although she loved them dearly. Her only remaining family now, her brother, seemed to be her only close connection. One day after an invite from an acquaintance, she decided to attend a dance where she met a man named Michael Engels. Marlena immediately seemed to connect with Michael and they soon became very close friends and even fell in love. A few months later Michael became ill and was admitted to the hospital with heart complications. On her way to see Michael the day he was admitted, Marlena stopped at a diner for a cup of coffee where she had a very strange experience. While there she met a teenage run-away who seemed to be in great distress. After speaking with, and comforting the girl, McBride seemed to lose track of time. When taking notice, it was three hours later. Marlena was on her way to drop the teen off at her home first, then head to the hospital. As Marlena was pulling out of the diner parking lot her car seemed to act strangely. Another vehicle headed in their direction ended up colliding with Marlena. This car belonged to a man who was on his way home, slightly distraught after having just lost his job.Read more ›
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Rudolph Cluke's A Garden Enclosed is a beautifully crafted story that incorporates elements of love, mystery, illusion, nostalgia, the paranormal, and the desire to find out what lies beyond the glass darkly, the constraints "that life imposes upon us as human beings." The following passage captures the essence of the story: "There is a time in our lives when reality is but the completion of our past, wishes can no longer come true, once endless possibilities now have boundaries."
Using the enclosed garden as a microcosm of hope, paradise, or perhaps the Garden of Eden, there are a number of instances of divine intervention in the narrative; however, the truly special element in this book is its experimental nature and ability to let readers interpret the events of the book in various ways. A Garden Enclosed is a page-turner of cosmic proportions and asks universal questions about human existence and life after death. Rudolph Cluke uses biblical allegory and juxtaposes reality and illusion--possibly divine--to deliver a narrative predicated on the fundamental aspects of life: the presence of hope and need for the human touch.
The plot revolves around the main character Marlena McBride, a beautiful and radiant woman whose name, interestingly, is short for Mary Magdalene, the embodiment of femininity. A Garden Enclosed effectively weaves in the paranormal, the divine, and reality, leaving readers to decide whether Marlena McBride is in fact real as humans define real, crossed over from another dimension, or is angelic and has come to earth to care for those in the winter years of their lives.
As the storyline unfolds, Marlena McBride is depicted as having a tremendous affinity with her garden, and prefers to remain secluded within her floral landscape.Read more ›
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