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Tending Roses
by Lisa Wingate

New American Library, 2001
ISBN: 0451203070 
Fiction, 304 pp
Trade paperback: $12.95

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Taking care of her husband, baby, and aging grandmother on a Missouri farm, a young woman discovers unexpected insights about life, love, and herself, in the handwritten pages of her grandmother's journal.

“Wingate's touching story of love and faith proves the old adage that we should take time to smell the roses and try to put our modern problems in perspective.” Booklist

Other Books by This Author
Texas Cooking
Good Hope Road

  Lisa Wingate

When not disguised as an author, I am the mother of two young sons. I wanted girls. I got boys. I never dreamed that boys could be so wonderful. But that is another story.

I can not remember a time when I didn’t write. I started writing books before I started school, and I never quit writing. I had a very special first-grade teacher in Peasley School in Northboro, Massachusetts, who recognized a little ability and a lot of desire in a shy transfer student. She wrote on my report card that she expected to see my name in the pages of a magazine one day, and I suddenly felt incredibly special. She started reading my stories to the class, and I was hooked. I quickly discovered the joy of having an audience, and set out on many, many writing projects.

Tending Roses is particularly special to me because it is a combination of fiction and family memories told to me by my grandmother. It is the kind of book I always wanted to write. So many of today’s sound bites are sensational, and awful, and when you take in all of those things, it is easy to lose faith in the world and in the goodness of people. I want to create books that are entertaining, but also good for the soul-- that don’t leave readers feeling sad or disappointed, or wishing they hadn’t read the book at all. I think we are all called to add something good to the world, to inspire and uplift, to add our colors to the canvas around us. I have met so many people who have wonderful ways of doing that. I admire them. I want to be like them. I love to write about them.

My grandmother was one of those people. She was an individualist, a strong woman, and a mass of paradoxes with fluffy gray hair. She could be a gossip and an instigator one minute, and a good Samaritan the next, selfish with one hand and generous with the other. I always knew she loved me, even when she was threatening to withhold our $5 birthday checks if we did not write to her more often.

Grandma passed away in her ninety-fifth year after being afflicted for several years with Alzheimer's. Her memories slowly left her, and her stories, other than those saved in old letters, slipped away also.

I am thankful to have captured some of her stories in Tending Roses...

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