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The Scent of Apple Tea

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Family. Courage. Love.

Kathryn Gordon’s cozy rural life falls apart when her adult daughter, Heather, is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. While Kathryn researches alternative cures, including communicating with a dead Scottish ancestor, Heather Gordon makes a heroic journey to Scotland with an ex-boyfriend she still loves.

The Scent of Apple Tea is a story of wanting what you
Published June 30th 2016 by Willow Bench Books
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Jewel Star
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bring your handkerchief!

I don't usually read books about people being sick or having cancer, yet this book caught my attention and pulled me in. I related to Kathryn, being 68 myself, and have always dreaded the thought of one of my children dying before me. When my son was in Iraq I would tear up at the very thought. Cancer is its own war. The rich characters combined with the all too real reactions made me wonder if this were a true story. An excellent job on a difficult subject.
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it

I’ve always been reluctant to read a novel with a character dying of cancer. To immerse for hundreds of pages with a character dealing with a deadly cancer can often send me rushing to a “Stone Soup” comic collection.

Thankfully, Valerie Ishan has written a novel that shows us the conflicts and beauty of living and dying with cancer. Her tender and empathic rendering of a mother and her dying daughter can illuminate how we see ourselves before, during and af
Margaret Pinard
Yes, I would call this a heart-rending tale.
TO REND: tear (something) into two or more pieces; (archaic) wrench violently; (literary)
cause great emotional pain to (a person or their heart)
There is some great emotional growth for the two female characters, and a lot of the gritty reality of mother-daughter relationships in The Scent of Apple Tea. The daughter Heather is painted as an immature, selfish, moody, depressive woman at 40. Not a lot to recommend her, except she likes bluegrass, and she
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, general
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
When I started reading this book, I thought: This is not good. I’m going to quit. Too many adjectives, too much melodrama, too many things I just don’t believe, and for Pete’s sake, these women weep on every page. Also, stop saying the 64-year-old mom is old; I’m 64. But then I got hooked and forgot about all that. Here’s the story: Kathryn Gordon owns an herb farm near Eugene, Oregon. She’s a single mom to her daughter Heather, who at nearly 40 years old has failed to get her own life due to cr ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
A most disturbing book but a very touchingly written book, full of strong emotions and facing ones monsters!! I could empathise so well with the feelings heather expressed towards her very overwhelming mother, who was so strong and dominated her life totally even though she was close to her 40's. Still living at home and without a love partner, depending so totally for everything on her mother yet feeling the need to get away from such a claustrophobic life!! on the other hand her mother who see ...more
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good fast read

Looked for book to read on my kindle. The title intrigued me as did the play between mother and daughter. As you go on you know it won't end happily, but the author gives a realistic view of dying of cancer. How it affects her and those around her is done very well, especially in light of having a family member go through a cancer death. It gave me a better insight into the person with cancer feelings and thought processes.
M K Lineweaver
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding story of a mother daughter relationship and their journey through cancer and finding each other and themselves . Heartwarming tale that would be a great book club read. I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with the potential loss of a relationship

Give yourself a gift of this book and Kathryn's journey to find herself - it is never too late to start again and we are never truly alone.
Deborah Ozmer Diaz
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I hate cancer!!!
Scott Cox
Mar 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Had high hopes, but no. this one was too depressing.
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. But the co-dependence of the mother and daughter drove me nuts, especially that of the daughter. She seemed to be in a constant state of self-pity, except near the end when she seemed to grow up. That said, I can't really relate to someone with her issues, so who knows how I would react. I can relate more to the mother and her fear of being alone. But, I too am a single mother, near in age to this mother. And I can't see myself ever holding my children back from the things t ...more
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Valerie Ihsan is a writer, author coach, editor, and dog-lover living in Springfield, Oregon. She aspires to live off the grid in Costa Rica with many dogs and her husband. If she's stuck in her writing, nature walks and chocolate help. Find her podcast, The Indie Author Mentor Show, at and to connect, go to Facebook, Instagram, and Free book at Val ...more

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