Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace #1)” as Want to Read:
The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fragrance of Geraniums

(A Time of Grace #1)

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Told from multiple perspectives, this is a powerful story of three women – of the threads of mercy that connect them – and of heart-wrenching sorrows alchemized by the Heavenly Father’s overwhelming redeeming grace.

Rhode Island - 1934

Grace Picoletti has nothing going for her – but she’s determined to succeed in life, nonetheless. Born to severe destitution, she
Kindle Edition, 269 pages
Published November 13th 2014 by Brighter Destiny Productions (first published November 12th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fragrance of Geraniums, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Alicia Ruggieri When I was a little girl, my mother worked as a caregiver for an elderly couple, and I often went with her to their house. One winter day, the elderly…moreWhen I was a little girl, my mother worked as a caregiver for an elderly couple, and I often went with her to their house. One winter day, the elderly woman took me upstairs to their library, a bookish-smelling, wooden-paneled room. On several card tables, pots of cut-down geraniums sat, waiting for the spring to come. That image – pots and pots of geraniums in an enclosed room – along with the strangely spicy (almost bitter) scent of the plants - stayed in my memory since then. So that part of The Fragrance of Geraniums was inspired by that single memory.

Now, Grace’s story of brokenness – For that, I was inspired mainly by the life of my great-grandmother. Several of the crucial, very difficult incidents in the story occurred in her life, and so I fictionalized them, using them to develop that theme of God giving beauty for ashes. :-)(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  129 ratings  ·  40 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace #1)
Amanda Tero
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Enter into the Picoletti's world--a world of heartache, pain, sorrow, and poverty. Journey with them as things go from bad to worse and then from worse to hopeful.

The very beginning with Grace's timidity in the theatre brought me into her world. As I learned more of the Picoletti's life, I was struck by the dismal picture of a family who lived without Christ at the center of their lives. Alicia displayed human nature very clearly!

Mr. Picoletti was a vivid picture of Proverbs 14:12, "There is a
A.M. Heath
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the most common questions people have about Christianity is, "Why does God allow suffering?" Alicia G. Ruggieri tackles this issue in her latest release, "The Fragrance of Geraniums." Told through multiple perspectives, the reader is taken back to the 1930s to watch the lives of 3 special women unfold. The hardships each of them face are the same difficult hardships felt by women today. Ruggieri does an amazing job showing Christ in the midst of all this pain and suffering. As a Christian ...more
Kellyn Roth
Incredible but sad story which ultimately leads to hope.

This was an incredible, powerful story of redemption. Without being too preachy, this book gives us a gritty, real-life story with gritty, real-life characters. It was sad, yes, and the happy ending wasn’t quite what one would expect, but it makes an incredible impression.

Content: Grace’s father is terribly immoral; he has a mistress who he keeps in a house right next to his home, and his family is an utter mess because of it. It was
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*Brief spoilers below*

Folks, I've written lots of reviews and I know I often say I LOVE a book. Here it goes again. I absolutely loved this! It was whimiscal and sweet. One of those books where you just feel like smiling the whole time...downright perfect.

Read this and be transported into the 1930s. While there are several POVs they are all connected and I never found it irritating. The intertwined stories of Grace, Emmeline, and Sarah were beauitful.

A Girl...Grace, not quite fifteen, and never
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Fragrance of Geraniums is a beautiful, breathtaking, thought-provoking work of fiction. The author weaves together a dramatic story of sorrow and loss, and of redemption and grace through her character's pain and brokenness. Without being overly-sentimental, the author paints a poignant canvass whose dark undertones ultimately serve to emphasize the radiant, glorious, grace-imparting strokes of light and restoration, as a sunrise is illuminated by the darkness from which it rises.

This is a
Jesseca Wheaton
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
I started and finished this book in one day, and now I cannot wait for the second one.
This book takes place in the 1930s during the great depression. The characters were all wonderful.
Grace was so sweet, and let me just say that I love Ben. He, uhh, does get saved in the last book...right? (Never mind, don't tell me!) But yes, he was by far my favorite character!
Everything Sarah went through was so hard to read about . (Mr. Picoletti...Can I please personally clobber the guy?)
Paulie was
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one night as I laughed, cried, and rejoiced. The author Alicia Ruggeri tells a moving story about the trials of three women. As she tells of their lives she also lets the reader know how they can have a relationship with God and become the person that God wants them to be. She gives a message to never give up believing everything will turn out (maybe a bit different than you had pictured).
Emmeline was my favorite character in the book as she finds the courage to help people
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a really moving read for me. I love how you feel like the world of the characters is alive and breathing and not just a necessary backdrop for character dialogue. I felt that the issues addressed by the author were done so in a sensitive yet thought provoking manner that did not shy away from the hard realities of life but that ultimately embraced the triumph and supremacy of the cross in the depths of pain and loss. Well worth the time to read and I look forward to more from this ...more
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The story line and the characters drew me in from the first pages. The author tells a touching and heartwarming story of a young girl growing up in a home of poverty and abuse and also shows how kindness and God's love can change lives and homes. This is the first book I have read by this author and I look forward to reading others by her. I was given an e-book copy of this novel in return for an honest review.
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was drawn into this story from the first page. This new author to me told the plot so realistically that I felt the emotions as if I were the characters. Having worked with domestic violence hotline, I know how this storyline could really be a reality. What a great story! I can highly recommend this story of heartache, low self-estime being redeemed by God's grace and love to anyone who loves to read. I was given this book for an honesty review.
Cammie Klaskin
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I started this book one night before bed and ended up staying up half the night because I could not put it down. The characters in thus story captured my heart. I loved some, I despised some but all of them touched me. This is a story of the importance if the people in our lives, how a little kindness can totally change another person's life.I highly recommend this book.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Age Appropriate For: 16 and up (discussion of an affair, and other thematic elements)
Best for Ages: 16 and up

I bought this book because I had been following the author for a bit and liked what I saw, but I really didn’t know what to expect from the book. The story it contained was nothing like what I expected, and at first I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but I ended up really loving it.

The story really gripped me from the opening. Grace’s poverty was heart-wrenching, yet you could see that
Dana Kamstra
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This novel was a somber story. Set during the depression, the poverty that surrounds the characters adds an echo to the desolation found within the three women of the story. Each one has a story that unfolds within the pages. Each one is a story that can be represented by a flower waiting to bloom in the spring- dead in the winter and just waiting to come alive. As their stories intertwine more and more, they learn to find hope in the broken dreams around them.

Overall, I really enjoyed this
Heidi Kelsch
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
This book was a pleasant surprise for me. I had a difficult time figuring out the beginning of the story, but once it started to pan out, I was captured. It was difficult to put this book down, and I easily read it in two days. The story itself is touching; it's set during the Great Depression, and is about a young girl who is trying to make something of herself despite everyone believing that she can't. She and her mother fight through each day to make it and both are carrying heavy burdens. ...more
Rebekah Morris
Aug 06, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't like leaving negative reviews, but I felt like I had to on this one. While the writing was good, I just couldn't finish the book. I know there are many situations just like this (father cheats on his wife very publicly and doesn't care at all, and he mistreats her and the children) now and there have been hundreds of situations like it before, but I don't have to know all the dirty details! I was beginning to feel very uneasy as I read, half afraid the author was going to take me into ...more
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After reading the author's first book, "The House of Mercy", I had to read this one. Although the main characters are mostly women, I couldn't help but share in the emotions and struggles they expressed. Such a touching story! I agree with the other reviewer; Alicia creates a world where, at some unrecognized point in the story, you find yourself inhabited. Oh!! Another thing! I just adore her unique style of writing the story in multiple perspectives! Viewing a mountain is one thing, but ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the story, the time era and all the characters. I didn't want this book to end. I wanted to learn more about Sarah, Grace, and everyone they came into contact with. Through the descriptions, I felt like I became friends with these characters and was sad to see it end. This hasn't happened for me in quite a while. You won't be sorry to pick up this fantastically written book!
Donna Porter
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Let me say, again, as I did in my review of A House of Mercy, how beautiful Alicia Ruggieri’s writing is. Few writers have such wonderful, poetic command of the English language. Her use of similes and metaphors is par excellence, and her easy, smooth sentence structure aids in drawing the reader into the story.

Her characterizations in The Fragrance of Geraniums, her second novel, are especially compelling as well. Grace Picoletti’s desperation to improve her situation, as well as to have a
Liberty Baehr
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, that was an emotional whirlwind... sad, hopeful, horrible, joyous, heartwrenching, relief... I would give the is book as whole 4.5 stars. There are some parts that made me cringe... & then joyfully cry (at the end, of course). The author presented some very indelicate subject matter in as delicate way as she could. It is a true saying: "A little opera (reality) goes a long way." I'm very glad that I decided to read it. My parents never married & separated when I was only about 3 ...more
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
What an absolutely lovely book. It is heart-warming and heart wrenching in its entirety. I loved it. Having loved Alicia’s “The House of Mercy” (which I reviewed here), I knew I wouldn’t have a hard time enjoying this one too, but I really was blown away by just how much I loved it. It was so real, and so well done. Alicia has such a God-given gift for writing, and I absolutely love how she uses it all for His glory!! It shines through so beautifully in her books, and I can’t tell you just how ...more
Anna Hurtt
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is… Wow, what a journey.

When I agreed to review this book and picked it up for the first time, I had no idea what would be waiting for me between the pages. This was a fantastic story. It’s more than the stories of the three women listed on the back cover: Grace, Emmeline, and Sarah. It’s the journey of a dozen characters – living, breathing characters that jump off the page and into your heart. As a reader, I felt their pain deeply and rejoiced when they triumphed over their
Alicia Willis
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
15+ for some adult situations.

I LOVED this book. I love authors that incorporate faith, Jesus, redemption, and real life, gritty situations into their books. This was such a book! Read the synopsis if you want details (since I dare not give any, lest I spoil the book for you!). It was sweet and sorrowful, sad and happy, touching and absolutely frustrating (in a good way). I didn't always understand the actions of the characters, but I loved them, felt for them, and cheered them on (except the
Diana Montgomery
The Fragrance of Geraniums
By: Alicia G. Ruggieri

A story taking place in 1934 about 3 women. A girl Grace born as poor as can be but determined to get out of it. Lot of family secrets to work through for her. Then a Mother Sarah lived a poor life and a abusive one. Want better for her daughter by the grace of God she won't have to live the awful life she did. Then there's a Woman. Emmeline can't have children so she befriends Grace. Three women taken back in the 1930's. The sad things these
Mary Holstein
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this book so much

I could not put the book down. This writer does a great job of making her characters real. It is hard to grasp how different things are today than during the Depression. Times were hard and this book gives us an understanding of how it must have been for some of the families. I wish there was a sequel. I would like to read more about the lives of each one. Well written book.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This story was enjoyable, addressing hard topics which was good. I loved the story, but did have to stop here and there and wish that the mother made different choices along the way.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes realistic fiction.
Donna Dv
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really good book

This was a really good book. It was so very heartbreaking at times. I could feel the pain the characters were feeling. Beautifully written.
Esther Filbrun
The Fragrance of Geraniums started out on an unexpected note. Perhaps because I hadn’t read the back cover copy recently, or I was envisioning it set in a completely different setting, but the setting caught me off guard—and instantly garnered my sympathies. Searching for hope in the midst of despair is something just about everyone can relate to at one level or another, and I loved how the story played out around that theme.

Grace’s home life is anything but good. With her father more interested
Sep 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The good: The author can write.

The bad: There were hints of this, but then at about the halfway point the author's agenda became very clear. It was like watching one of those very bad commercials. You know the ones where all is doom and gloom and no one can do anything right until they buy the product and then everything is wonderful and perfect. This is how the whole book unfolded. The Catholic characters were the doom and gloom and the Protestant characters were the wonderful and perfect.
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!

This author can really get into the heart of what someone might be thinking. I love those kinds of stories! I wish it was longer, but while the important parts reached a climax and got resolved, I’d see more resolution in the next story. Top quality story. It’s good to have our eyes opened to the way some people reason, and to have such great examples of how we can reach out to love others. Inspiring!!
Sarah Briel
Mep. Well I'm not sure what to say about this. RTC
« previous 1 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Unintended Consequences (Jack Turner Suspense #3)
  • All the Blue of Heaven (Colors of Faith #1)
  • The Forgotten Recipe (Amish Heirloom, #1)
  • Love's Prayer (First Street Church Romances #1)
  • 12 Saturdays
  • The Return of the Elves Collection: Books 1-4
  • Crane's Bride
  • Temporary Bride (Dakota Brides #1)
  • Lizzie (War Brides #1)
  • The Dog Who Was There
  • The Deepest Waters
  • Tending Roses (Tending Roses, #1)
  • Dream with Me, Cowboy (Texas Matchmakers, #1)
  • The Priority Unit (Maine Justice #1)
  • A Heart's Obsession (A Journey of the Heart, #2)
  • A Faithful Gathering (The Sisters of Lancaster County, #3)
  • A Heart's Promise (A Journey of the Heart #5)
  • A Heart's Danger (A Journey of the Heart, #3)
See similar books…
Alicia G. Ruggieri grew up breathing in the salty air of coastal New England. She now writes grace-filled, Christ-centered fiction from her home in Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and sweet second-hand mutt. She loves old graveyards, dusty libraries, and excellent cannolis ~ not necessarily in that order.

To learn more about Alicia’s books and to connect with her, visit:

Other books in the series

A Time of Grace (3 books)
  • All Our Empty Places (A Time of Grace, #2)
  • A Love to Come Home To (A Time of Grace #3)
“She thought of the Good Shepherd with His sheep. Of the Man hanging upon the cross. And the understanding bubbled up within her soul: He makes all things new.” 1 likes
“Lord,” she whispered – and a witness would have testified to the iron in her tone, “I am Yours. All of mine is Yours. You give what You deem is best, and I will pour it back at Your feet as an offering.” 0 likes
More quotes…