In the Light of the Garden

In the Light of the Garden is a novel about unearthed family secrets, the enchantment of past loves, and the indelible power of forgiveness.

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.

Favorite Quotes

"Forgiveness is rarely deserved. That's what makes it such a gift."
Featured on the art print

“As long as there was hope, there was promise. And promise was enough to light all the stars in the sky.”

“Some moments were golden; they were designed and orchestrated by an invisible hand, and they were meant to be more than moments. They were meant to be memories.”

“And hope was the light of the world, where no darkness could penetrate.”

“Surviving is the easy part. It’s actually living that is practically impossible.”

What was in the box?

This box shipped in January of 2017. This box contained elements of magical realism which was a first for our adult subscription!

As Book Clubbers read this title, they opened their gifts to find a green and white striped umbrella, a strand of fairy lights, a yellow polka-dotted container, a photograph, and a bag of soothing mud mask (the recipe for this was tucked in the back of the book).

This was the first time part of a gift was inserted inside the book instead of being gift wrapped with a page number!

Discussion Questions

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1. What did you think of Ellen Marie's character? Do you think she regretted some of the choices she made regarding her daughter? What do you think the future holds for her? Will she continue to grow? Or will she return to her old ways when life gets too hard?

2. The author weaves a wonderful story of the magic found around Gaslamp Island. If you lived there, would you believe the magic that the islanders believed in?

3. Why do you believe Charity avoided the tree for so long? If you were her, would you have gone under it earlier than she did? Or would you have cut it down?

4. What did you think of George and Harold's relationship? In this situation, would you find a way to reconcile with your brother?

5. Various intriguing characters also begin to arrive at the house. Which character did you find most interesting? Why?

Meet the Author

Heather Burch

Heather Burch was a #1 bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She was featured in Once Upon a Book Club in January of 2017.

Learn More About Heather