From Publishers Weekly
This tepid debut novel follows four women as they band together to save a garden from being gobbled up by an expanding college campus. Mary, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist and professor; Hannah, an MFA student whose husband becomes increasingly distant; Sofia, a young mother who gave up her previous life as a powerful Hollywood agent; and Ashleigh, who is afraid to reveal her lesbian relationship to her conservative senator father, all share a love of the small garden nestled next to Manhattan University's faculty housing, and as they organize to stop the imminent excavation, they form friendships and make major changes in their lives. There isn't anything you haven't seen before in here, but Rendell does a fine job of following the formula. (Sept.)
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The urban campus of Manhattan University harbors a fenced garden that serves as an oasis for four women. The garden is accessible by key only to the residents of the faculty housing that surrounds it. Married to a professor, Sofia had a successful career of her own but gave it all up to be a stay-at-home mom. Ashleigh is a lawyer in her family’s firm and holds a secret that could curtail her politician father’s career. Hannah is an artist married to another faculty member; her secret could threaten her marriage. And Mary, a faculty member in her own right, lives a lie as she endures a toxic marriage to the dean, who wants to bulldoze the garden and put in a parking lot. These four women are not acquainted but soon will become sisters-in-arms as they fight for their garden and then for each other. Alternately amusing and serious, with a little literary mystery thrown in for good measure, Rendell’s smart and pleasing tale of friendship and self-actualization has broad appeal. --Maria Hatton