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In the Light of the Garden

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  6,162 ratings  ·  520 reviews

In the Light of the Garden is a novel about unearthed family secrets, the enchantment of past loves, and the indelible power of forgiveness.

Inheriting her grandparents’ island estate on Florida’s Gulf coast is a special kind of homecoming for thirty-one-year-old Charity Baxter. Raised by a narcissistic single mother, Charity’s only sense of a loving home comes from child

Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Lake Union Publishing
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,162 ratings  ·  520 reviews

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Purple Country Girl (Sandy)
I received a copy of In the Light of the Garden from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Lake Union Publishing, Netgalley and Heather Burch for the opportunity to read this e-ARC.

Following the death of her beloved grandfather, Charity Baxter inherits his mansion, Baxter House, located on Florida’s Gaslamp Island, as well as the majority of his estate. Most of her happiest childhood memories revolve around the island, the house and her grandparents. It’s where she spent many su
Deborah Blanchard
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
Will you come, sit with me
We'll tell our troubles 'neath the tree
The tears we shed will surely be
Water for the Weeping Tree.
And in its shade our woes will fall.
Pain and suffering, sorrow and all
They'll fall like glistening diamond drops.
You see, the tree, our pain, it stops.
This is a poem from the book that I fell in love with. It is a magical journey to have read this. Heather Burch takes us on an emotional ride that will touch your heart and your soul. It touched mine. You can relate t
Cindy Burnett
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

In the Light of the Garden is a gem. Heather Burch has written a beautifully crafted tale of forgiveness and redemption that will stay with me for a long while. As the book opens, 31-year-old Charity Baxter has inherited her grandparents’ home on Gaslamp Island in Florida. As a child, her grandparents provided refuge for Charity from her life with her narcissistic single mom; as she grew older and after her grandmother died, she spent less time on Gaslamp Island. Returning to the island
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3-1/2 Stars

In The Light of the Garden, 31-year-old Charity returns to her grandfather’s home upon learning of his passing. This is a place full of fond childhood memories from Charity’s summers spent there with her grandparents. Upon returning as an adult, many secrets are discovered.

This a book about forgiveness and loss. What makes it intriguing is that the author adds a bit of magic to the storyline. There is something mysterious about the willow tree and a “secret ingredient” Grandpa left f
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Loved, loved, loved this book!

This is one book that I won't soon forget. It is the story of a tree. Yes, believe it or not, the weeping tree is a major character.

Charity has always loved her grandparents' home on the Gulf Coast of Florida. She spent most of her summers there because her mother dropped her off so that she could spend the summers elsewhere. Ellen, Charity's mom, is materialistic and has a number of issues with her parents. So, Charity grows up with the love of her grandparents an
Jeanne Adamek
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink*

Apparently I am on a kick of abusive mothers for some reason. It feels like every book I've been on recently has a mother who is downright awful to her offspring and is incredibly selfish.

A few years ago, a friend of mine was having a fight with her mother over something. She said to me, in this sad resigned voice, that her mother was a lovely person but she was never meant to be a mother. She didn't have the right personality for it and her own priorities would always come first. I'm not going
Susan Peterson
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars for this enchanting, heartwarming story about forgiveness, families, and a magical tree. In The Light of the Garden tells the story of Charity, who inherits her grandparents' estate in Florida. As a child, Charity spent her summers there, a magical place for a young girl, a way to escape the rejection and disappointment she lives with every day when she is at home with her mother. Upon returning to Florida, she unearths a history and family secrets that upend her world, but also bring ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very beautiful book that I couldn't put down! The story is Captivating and just really grabs a hold of you physically and emotionally! It's very well written with beautiful descriptions and with such ease that you've hardly noticed you've finished the book until you're there! The story is amazing I've not read anything like it before it fills you with a sense of hope and love!!! This is a story that will stick with me my whole life and one that I'll definitely be recommending to my fellow read ...more
This just wasn't my cup of tea. I think the Once Upon a Time Book Club subscription is a charming idea and obviously those who run it put a lot of time into it, but I get really annoyed with chick lit books where everyone is supposedly damaged but when we meet them things start magically working out for them. I suppose I should have known that a subscription named "Once Upon a Time" would choose some fairy tale stories and this book is no exception. There's nothing wrong with it if you're lookin ...more
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I will not say that this was a total disappointment. There's no doubt, Heather Burch's In The Light of The Garden had its moments. For instance, I enjoyed the rare confrontational parts of the story, where Charity finally stood up against her manipulative, selfish mother. But for the remainder, there was simply too much introspection and too much inexplicable so-called magic happening, and, in the end, I wasn't convinced. When it comes to that particular genre of magic realism, I prefer by far, ...more
Chris Conley
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gardens hold a special appeal to me. Magic coming from gardens never surprises me. The combination of seriously-damaged people and magic from trees is an unbeatable combination. This story is sad, funny, sweet, annoying and, ultimately, delightful.
Rachel (borntoberustic)
Wow. This book really played my heartstrings... Love, loss, pain, renewal, hope--it's all here. There's even a dash of magic! (The real world sort. The kind we all hope for.) Such a good book! I definitely recommend it if you have a taste for women's fiction. :)
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heather Burch has done it again. In the Light of the Garden is a wonderful story about love and forgiveness, and how family should always come first even if the family isn't biological. The heroine, Charity Baxter, is my favorite Heather Burch character yet. I could relate to her and how being an only child had made her socially awkward. Still, she was full of love and so willing to give it to others even to those not worthy of it. As for the hero, Dallas Reynolds, I wish I could bring a book bo ...more
Jennifer C
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
A beautiful book about family and forgiveness. I love how Ms. Burch uses Magical realism in this story. The theme of family and forgiveness has, in my opinion, an innate sense of magic all its own and by giving it life within her story she shows how much power they wield.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was lovely, clean, and refreshing...yet there were things that bothered me. Thus the 3 star rating. Charity the main character of this story is number 1. She was WAY to perfect! I mean I don't think she did anything wrong ever in this book. It was difficult to relate to her. She takes in an 18yr old girl, and is immediately ready to take her on like a daughter. It was strange. Number 2. Her mother. Exact opposite of Charity, a selfish woman who is one of the antagonists (in a mild sens ...more
Jeannie Autry
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written....every scene is meticulously described until not only can you visualize but you can actually begin to smell the surrounding environment of Gaslight Island and the weeping willow tree. As a child, I found the weeping willow tree beautiful and so peaceful. This story made me want to grow my own weeping willow.
Each character is important to the story, unforgettable and endearing, beginning with Charity Baxter, daughter, Ellen her mother, Gramps and Gram, Uncle Harold, Dalton
Christine Moore
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
" And hope was the light of the world, where no darkness could penetrate." This is the final line from the book and I just love it. It explains the book. This is a book of forgiveness. Of a great love of family and understanding family can be complete strangers turned into family. I loved this book. Charity inherits her Grandfather's house on Gaslamp Island in Florida. She always loved spending the summers there with her grandparents when she was a little girl. On the property is a willow tree t ...more
Karen Kay
I received this ARC from in exchange for a review.

Charity Baxter inherits her grandparents estate in Florida. The weeping willow tree in the back yard has calming and healing properties but can Charity forgive herself from the wrongs and guilt she feels? Having a family doesn't necessarily mean blood related.

This is a feel good kind of book, no surprises. Fanciful and whimsical, it was an acceptable read.

3 stars
Virginia Dhondt
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to cry. Not because the ending is sad, but because it has ended. Heather has a way of writing that just completely envelops you, and makes you feel as if you are inside the story. You feel the joy, the sadness, the despair...all of it. You wish to keep going, looking forward into the characters' futures, to see how things work out beyond the borders of the book. As with any good book, the story of Charity, Daisy, Dalton, and the residents of Gaslight Island, is filled with mystery, magic, ...more
Tiki L. Baca
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The main character Charity goes through a journey of dealing with guilt, sadness, happiness, learning to put up boundaries, and discovery of who she is. During this process, she helps others find their way as well. The characters are real and believable. There are characters you love, those you love to hate, and some who hit really close to home. Charity's discovery involves friendships, relationships, family, and just a little bit of magic. There is something for everyone to ...more
Audra Murray
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"In the Light of the Garden" is a gorgeous, lyrical journey. Heather Burch creates a cast of characters full of quirks and flaws that draw you in and make you root for them all to have a happy ending. The weeping willow reminds me of the forgiveness and grace we all crave and don't think we deserve. It also asks the question, "What is a family?" A family is not only made up of blood relatives but the people we invite into our lives. Bravo, Heather for another great book!
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had so much potential! It started off so whimsical and then it was like the author ran out of story and substituted having a lengthy book instead of a good plot.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read and very well written. It is the first time that i have read a book by Heath Burch and do hope to read more. Although i rarely write what a story is about as i prefer one to read the book for themselves, i do recommend.

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy.
Babs Chandrasoma
Once again Heather Burch delivers a touching story of forgiveness and complex life struggles. Charity, the main character, struggles through the pain of a unique upbringing with a narcissistic, mother who tries to love her the best she knows how, all be it unhealthy and very conditional.
During the summers as a child, Charity was able to seek refuge in the loving arms of her maternal Grandparents on what proves to be magical, Gaslamp Island, FL.
Interwoven with complex issues, pain, guilt, and l
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In the Light of the Garden is an extremely relatable story. Seeing Charity 'grow' throughout the story was insirping. So many people want to please everyone and that just isn't possible. Watching her learn how to accept others for who they are and more importantly, watching her learn to accept herself was inspiring. Forgiveness is difficult but forgiveness of yourself is near impossible. The way the story is written made me reflect on my own life and relationships.
Heather is able to capture the
D.M. Kilgore
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An emotional journey. In the Light of the Garden is a fantastically written story that offers readers a deeply moving experience as you lose yourself in the incredible setting (such great visualization) and find yourself completely caught up in Charity's journey. It's a truly touching story that will stick with me for years to come. As an only child, I related to Charity's unique quirks and really appreciated how she grows as her story plays out. I'm being so careful not to say too much and ruin ...more
Jessica Woods
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this really sweet and some time heartbreaking story of grief, Charity Baxter inherits her grandparents' home. With a narcissistic, self absorbed mother, the summers she spent with her grandparents where the only times she felt loved. On her journey of grief and healing, she begins collecting other lost souls, uncovers family secrets, and finds forgiveness. A good read with a hint of magic and the moral that blood does not always mean family. This is a smooth flowing, superbly written sweet re ...more
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was captivated immediately with Heather Burch's new novel, "In the Light of the Garden". Even by the end of the first page I was so intrigued that I didn't want to lay the book down. And I didn't until I finished it. A story inspired by family, Heather develops the nuances of the characters of this unique family with special insight. Personalities come together only to clash. Resulting in heartache and mistrust but...and the but is the amazing part. Heather's characters work through their pain ...more
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I can't believe the release of SOMETHING LIKE FAMILY is September 12. This is a book that was inspired by a trip to the mountains when my husband and I needed to "unplug" for a while.
I wasn't certain how it would hit readers, but I'm thrilled to say, it has the highest star rating so far of all of my books. It's sitting at a 4.85 stars here on Goodreads. I guess needing to "unplug" is something
“As long as there was hope, there was promise. And promise was enough to light all the stars in the sky.” 7 likes
“And hope was the light of the world, where no darkness could penetrate.” 3 likes
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