Gallery (Pocket), Oct 12 2010, $15.00
In Dublin, widow Eva Madigan barely copes with raising her four years old son Liam by herself. When she finds a garden overrun by weeds, she believes it is symbolic of her own emotional state. She asks garden owner elderly Myrtle Prendergast if she can work on the garden though she is ignorant when it comes to gardening.
Having received surprising approval from Myrtle, who allegedly killed and buried her spouse in her garden three decades ago, Eva seeks help. She meets Holocaust survivor Uri, his divorced son Seth, and too serene Emily. As the garden recovers its beauty, the quartet and Myrtle mentally heal. That is until Mrs. Prendergast's adult son insists on selling the property; devastating the gardeners.
Although Winter Bloom does not add anything new to the mental healing by gardening (for instance, the classic The Secret Garden and Sue Minter’s nonfiction Healing Garden series), this is an entertaining tale of five people finding solace with the urban garden they cultivate. Each of the prime quintet comes across as real people with emotional issues crippling them in different ways. As the garden blooms so do they in Tara Heavey’s enjoyable contemporary.