Galilee (who goes by Gal) has had a hard life. For pretty much her entire life, she has had kidney disease and she’s been on dialysis for eight years. She’s hoping for a transplant, but she’s not a very likely candidate. Still, though, she enjoys her job teaching…but her main passion is roses. She grows them and breeds them, hoping one day to win Queen in Show. Then one day her niece shows up. Gal’s sister has moved to Hong Kong for a job and Riley needs a place to stay. So, surprise! here she is!
Gal is a hard person to like sometimes. Like most of us, she’s pretty set in her ways and is convinced that her opinion is the right one. (I don’t judge her for that—we all think our opinions are correct. Otherwise, we’d have different opinions.) She’s prickly but she’s also steadfast and loyal. She reminded me a lot of a younger version of Ouiser from Steel Magnolias—so I guess it’s not surprising that I’m Team Gal. I sort of AM Gal.
This is such a great book. I love stories where people who probably shouldn’t have children acquire them somehow (see: Baby Boom, Raising Helen, No Reservations, etc.) and this one is no exception. But it isn’t just some emotionally manipulative, overly sentimental guilty pleasure. Margaret Dilloway can WRITE.
It would have been so easy for this book to have become a Lifetime movie, but it didn’t. It had moments of emotion, of course, but it didn’t become Feisty Woman Saves Niece And, In Process, Herself. It isn’t a cliche or a stereotype.
Instead, it’s smart, funny, bittersweet and just all around perfect.