Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes
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Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes (Homegrown #1)

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3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  28 reviews
When her beloved husband of forty-eight years dies, Imogene "Imo" Lavender takes solace in her tomato garden and finds her own life beginning to blossom. Raising two young women -- her rebellious sixteen-year-old daughter, Jeanette, and Lou, the thirteen-year-old niece she has taken in -- demands most of her time, but a friend insists that a trip to the Kuntry Kut 'n' Kurl...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Touchstone (first published 2001)
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Quirky Southern Fiction
290th out of 536 books — 1,462 voters
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Southern Chick Lit
174th out of 176 books — 163 voters


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Community Reviews

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Elaine
First in the Homegrown series

Imogene loses her husband of 40 something years to cancer. While at first she just wants to give up, after some time, she turns to her beloved gardening. That's when her niece Lou who lives with her knows she's come back to life. As they're working together in the garden, Imo teaches Lou about gardening.

Imo's friend Martha and Martha's sister Wanda think she needs a man. She doesn't think so but boy is she lonely. She takes Wanda's advice and hangs out in the freeze...more
Susan
A sweet story set in Euharlee, Georgia about recently widowed Imogene Lavender and her two daughters, Jeannie and Lou. Imogene's love of gardening and tomato growing is the backdrop for life's ups and downs, with plenty of humor to giggle out loud.
Jill
This was just a bleh book. I thought I would like it because it would be a story of a woman dealing with her grief from the loss of her husband - coming to terms with life. It was so flat and mostly just depressing, though. The characters were stereotypes, and the main character and the secondary main character were remarkably clueless. You would have thought the story happened 60 years ago, or that the main character was 85 instead of 65. She was just always shocked and offended by things (gays...more
Lanette
A very 'quaint' book... almost too much so. I didn't think Imo's actions were believable in several places (totally hands-off approach to Jeannette, hunting men, etc). I'll read the next books because I already took them out of the library. Otherwise, I'm not sure I would have made the effort.
Sarah
Quick note, I would actually give this book at 3.5 star rating...

I really enjoyed this book. If I had to describe it in one word, I would call it "sweet." I was drawn to the title because, really, who doesn't adore and appreciate the wonder of true love and homegrown tomatoes?! I don't read a whole lot of books with a main character over the age of 60, so that was a change for me. At the same time, the 13 year old character was probably a bit too grown up and not entirely realistic for her age,...more
Mary Lou
It was encouraging to read how one can survive losing a loved one, and then begin again and help those who are also struggling. Also got some good gardening advice!
Cindy
Sweet story of Imo Lavender, an older Southern lady raising 2 girls that she's taken in, Jeanette and Lou. This novel in some ways has the pace of the No 1 Ladies Detective series - there's not a large amount of action, this novel is more evocative of a place and the interaction among the main characters. Imo loses her husband of 48 years and eventually decides, with the help of her friends, that she might like some male companionship in her life. She dates several men and deals with the raising...more
Annie
I was expecting this book to have more humor in it. In my opinion, there was hardly any at all. It was actually kind of depressing. The author describes Imo's pain so thoroughly that at times I felt it too. I couldn't imagine losing a husband after 48 years like she did then having to raise 2 teenagers while she herself is in her 60s. I think the characters complimented eachother well but Lou's 13 yr old character wasn't very believable. I enjoyed reading from 2 different points of view but the...more
Sonja
I bought this book really just based on the title... You have to admit, it's a catchy title.

I enjoyed reading Imo's story. Her love of the garden hit a cord within me... We planted 30 some-odd tomato plants this year, but I'm not having near the bumper crop Imo has. Guess it must be the manure tea she uses. I haven't tried that yet...

We will have some homegrown tomatoes for our 4th of July family cookout this weekend so I guess I consider it a successful venture over all.
Debby
Imogene "Imo" Lavender is angry when her husband of 48 years dies suddenly leaving her to raise her teenage great niece and an adopted teen. She finally begins to find consolation in her vegetable garden, but also begins hitting the dating scene for 60+ in Euharlee, GA - not a pretty sight. This is a slice of life southern fiction book - similar to Cold Sassy Tree in many ways. My native GA book club members loved it, my non-natives weren't so impressed and neither was I. First in a trilogy.
Michelle Vaughn
In the hands of Barbara Kingsolver, I know this would've been charming and transcendent, and I would've loved every minute, every word. But, as it is: this book is in no way offensively bad, it simply suffers from being not very good. The writing plods, and after over one hundred pages, I still found nothing compelling about these characters or their predicaments and could not force myself to continue reading.
Tamara
Sweet story, easy read. I loved all the garden talk. I didn't fine the religious talk to be too much (coming from a non religious person) just viewed it as part of the characters. Won't be reading the sequel though.
Roxana
This book was pretty good! It was an easy read and it was very heartfelt, however the ending was disappointing. The story seemed to end suddenly with no real satisfying resolution.
Brandy
This book was pretty cute. It reminded me a lot of Fannie Flagg's style of writing and characters. I didn't like how the book just up and ended but I guess there are some sequels.
Heather Shugarman
A nice, easy read. Written in split perspectives, which is always fun! I think this book would be especially enjoyable for those who like to garden.
Ruth
widowed senior citizen is looking for love in all the wrong places. It was OK. Just not my favorite type of book. It's part of a series.
Michele Chapman
The characters reminded me far too much of my own overly religious, repressed, narrow-minded relatives.
Cindy
Ick. A book about someone whose priorities were as out of whack as her relationship with her kids.
Gwen
Looking forward to getting started on the next book to see what happens to Imo, Lou & Jeannie. :)
Angie
Reviewers said this book was funny and poignant...it was neither. It was simply boring.
Melanie
Not too far in - so far, so good, but not really a page-burner for me.
Dawn
It was more of a 2.5 but it was light, easy to read, and had a good theme.
Amanda Drysdale
Couldn't ever get into it - never even finished.
Mimi
I really enjoyed this story ---
Bobbi
Sweet comforting read.
Kim
Couldn't get past chapter 1.
Linda
Got a little too Jebus-y for me.
AM
charming
Jill
Jill added it
Aug 26, 2014
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Julie L. Cannon is the author of the award-winning Homegrown series, published by Simon & Schuster and described as ‘Southern-fried soul food.’ She switched from the ABA to the CBA, and her novel I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Summerside Press, Sept. ‘10, made the CBA Bestseller List as well as Nielsen’s Top 50 Inspirational Titles. Abingdon Press will release Twang in August 2012, and Scarlett S...more
More about Julie L. Cannon...
The Romance Readers' Book Club 'Mater Biscuit I'll Be Home for Christmas Twang Those Pearly Gates (Homegrown, #3)

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