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Garden of Angels

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,297 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
It is 1974 and the country is still struggling to come to terms with the Vietnam War. In the small town of Conners, Georgia, Darcy has just started high school, her older sister Adel goes to weekend dances at the local Army base, and their mother tends her beautiful garden–the biggest and best in town. But Darcy’s world is soon changed forever when her mother goes to Atlan ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 11th 2005 by Laurel Leaf (first published May 13th 2003)
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Don't Die, My Love by Lurlene McDanielSix Months to Live by Lurlene McDanielSo Much to Live For by Lurlene McDanielA Rose for Melinda by Lurlene McDanielI Want to Live by Lurlene McDaniel
Lurlene McDaniel Novels
61 books — 94 voters
Deadly Secrets by Angel SeferHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Five Stars
1,782 books — 417 voters

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Community Reviews

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Rating details
Sort: Default
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: lurlene-mcdaniel
I could go on and on about the plot, the characters, the many pages in this book but it would not really matter. What matters is that Lurlene McDaniel wrote an amazingly good book, like she always does.

This book is set in a time that happened before most readers were even born...I should know, I was born in 1989 and the book is set in 1974-1975.

The only thing I can complain about is why couldn't McDaniel pair up Jason with Darcy? I liked how Darcy experienced "first love" and "feeling like a wo
Melodie Ashley
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was a tearjerker, but it is a good book for anyone to read. I love to work with flowers with my mom, and I have seen what cancer can do, so I could relate with this book. The story was well written and it never had a dull moment. This was the first book by this author that I have ever read, and it was great. The book is a sad, but it was very humbling and I enjoyed it a lot. Wonderful book.
Oct 02, 2011 rated it liked it
This book is about a girl(Darcy) who has dreams of being the first one in her family to go to college. Unfortunately, her mother gets breast cancer. This book tells of how she struggles without her mother and feels lonely without her sister who leaves after marriage. Darcy now spends her time in her mother's garden and calms herself by listening to the angels there.
wow this book really touched me and made me want to cry. I felt like i was really there while i read the book, and become so attached to the main character. This book was one of the best books i read and i think every teenager should read this book. the time frame, the actions of everyone person, and the word choice was awesome.
Jaclyn Hillis
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
McDaniel sure knows how to tug at those heartstrings.
Katy Hall
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was sad and not much else, but it was also good. I read it in a few hours and I cried a bunch. 3.5 stars
Oz Mikhail
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
...This one specifically will bring tears to your eyes...
Read more on blog.
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have this deep (and I’ll admit…morbid) fascination for stories with tragic characters or plots, and I’m not entirely sure why. I never really had to deal with friends dying for any reason during my childhood, so it wasn’t personal experience that intrigued me. Nevertheless, when my fourth grade teacher read us one of McDaniel’s books, I was hooked. There was something deeply captivating for me in the lives of these kids who weren’t sure they would live to see another birthday. This idea of nev ...more
Toni Lupro
Apr 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Garden of Angels was... Well, A Lurlene McDaniel novel... Full of tragedy, the fight, the hope, the recovery, and all the trials along the way. The novel was placed in the midst of the Vietnam war in the southern United States and told of a small charming town and one of their own who faced a new challenge: breast cancer. Breast cancer at this time still had a lot to discover in treatment and McDaniel tells of the Quinlin family's battle with the disease. Through the support of a town, the beaut ...more
May 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Although this book had an overall cute storyline and generally likable characters, I didn't particularly enjoy the book. If it says anything, I enjoyed reading it mostly because it had a fun plastic cover that made noise every time I turned a page--a perk of checking out library books!

Perhaps I am not Lurlene McDaniel's intended audience, because it seems that she has published several books of this very same nature, none of which look like something I would like to read. The plot was rather cli
Feb 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
I remember getting this from a Scholastic book fair because I thought the cover was pretty and was expecting something hopeful. Well, that sure as heck isn't what I got.

(view spoiler)
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
A very simple story, Garden of Angels chronicles a very important year in the life of fourteen-year-old Darcy. During Darcy's freshman year her mother develops breast cancer and Darcy encounters her first true crush. What follows is a year of changes.

This was a very short, simply story that was character driven. All the character felt very sincere but might not have had the depth one would encounter in an Adult novel, in that way, it did read as Young Adult fiction. However, it was easy to care
Jan 11, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was about Darcy Quinlin living in Conners. As a high school student, she lives a very hard life because of what she is going through either in school or in life. Darcy wanted to talk to her mother about the war in Vietnam during 1974 and about her mother's tests in Altanta. Darcy had grown as a daughter in the family to help her mother with her garden and to take care of her mother.
I think this book was okay. Not as good as the books that Lurlene McDaniel had written before. Throughout
Ashley Thompson
Awwww! This book killed my heart. Garden of Angels is the first real book I read that I became infatuated with. Nowadays, I probably wouldn't read something like this again, but back then it was perfect. It's like a downplayed The Fault in Our Stars. Darcy and Jason were SO CUTE, but it sort of angered me that they didn't work out in the end. Actually... Darcy just had a bad time in that book. Her mom, her boyfriend. Jeez. Anyway, LOVED this book.
Apr 26, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a pretty decent book to read. The thing i liked most about it is that it brings back Vietnam in another words it talks a bit about the Vietnam war which I learned this year is a very important war that happened back then. Big things should never fade away, always remind the world of what things has happened in the U.S. It shares deep feelings of a girl Darcy. Cancer is something that has killed many lifes today. I learned that we should all love one another because you never know when th ...more
Courtney Johnson
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked this book. I didn't think it was that sad though. I expected to be devastated from reading the description of this book. However, I felt like it avoided many things and simplified the disease. It was a quick read. I did not like the epilogue though. It felt like it wasn't in the same writing style as the rest of the book and just brushed by everyone's life. This was an ok book; I don't think I would read it again, but I might be up for another book from the same author.
Apr 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young adults
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My favorite Lurlene McDaniel book so far. I liked how the person with cancer wasn't the main character this time. The book had everything in it: death, love, secrets,marriage, babies! This book was a fantastic novel about how a girl, Darcy, and her family cope with the news that her mother has breast cancer. A powerful novel that I will recommend to those who are looking for a short, prevailing novel.
Jul 02, 2010 rated it liked it
This was a really good book,I liked the romance, and the time and setting of the story was very interesting to me. it hit a bit close to home though. When i was five years old, mty mother was diagnosed with the early stages of breast cancer. i really don't remember a whole lot, only that i was reluctant to go the the hospital. This book showed me what would have happened if her surgery wasn't succesful. this was a very touching book, but it hit me hard.
Mary Bronson
I thought this was such a great book. It was so heartbreaking, but amazing at the same time. I loved the plot and characters of the story. Darcy is such a great main character and what she went through was tough. I liked how Lurlene put an epilogue at the end of the story so we know what happened to Darcy, her family, and friends. I won't say what is in the epilogue but my heart broke a little when I read what happened to one of the characters who I liked.
Christina Grimm
Jul 09, 2013 marked it as to-read
This was the first grown up book that I finished and really enjoyed. Up until this point the larger books I had read were for school and nothing had really caught my attention. It's about a girl who loses her mother and it really pulled at my heart strings. I have read this book over and over and when my sister began reading this was the first book I recommended to her. This is also an author that both me and my sister connect with and continue to enjoy.
Jennifer Lynn
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
I liked the book so it deserves a three based on that. Unfortunately, I just feel like her earlier works were so much better so if I had to rate it based on the writer's capabilities I would give it a two.
Aug 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the author
Shelves: young-adult
Darcy's southern world is turned upside down when her mom gets breast cancer, her sister gets married, and a new boy comes to town.
This book was refreshingly told from Darcy's point of view, and it was surprisingly realistic.
Jul 22, 2008 rated it liked it
It was a really good book and I loved it, but it was awfully sad and was one of those books that leaves you with the feeling that there is a hole in your stomach. But it was also beautifully inspirational and sweet.
Courtney U
Oct 26, 2009 rated it liked it
I gave this book 3 stars because it was like this was happening in my life not the book. But that is the only part of the book I like. I really dont like how it drops off at the end. It just leaves everything hanging.
Tatiana Cantu
Jul 29, 2011 rated it liked it
I give this book 3 stars simply for the fact that I read it in 8th grade. I loved it but I'm sure If I read it now I wouldn't be that interested in this novel. But young girls will enjoy it. My friends and I all read it back when we were thirteen and we all enjoyed it.
Erin Brawner
Darcy a high school student must deal with the fact that her mother has breast cancer, the Vietnam War, and boys on her own. She finds comfort in the garden her mother planted. This book would be good for students who know someone with breast cancer.
Aug 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
OH MY GOSH~<>~<>~<>~<>~ ok if ur looking for a depressing messed up love story this is the way to go I mean this girls mother has breast cancer and shes in love with the schools bad boy who loves her but they can't be together, and a ton of other stuff is just keeping them apart, mainly family
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
i really liked this book but what i dient like was how jason dident stay with her and what i dident like the most was how he died at the end it, the ending would have been perfectly fine if he lived but no she had to kill him and that was so sad to me, but i thought it was still such a cute book
Dalesha R
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, it really hit close to home because two years ago I had found out my grandmother had breast cancer and luckily she beaded :-). This author writes really great books with all types of medical knowledge I had no idea about.
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Liked it. Setting is during the time I was the age of the main character. A good book for teens to read to see how others deal with the problems of life. Mom has cancer-- and regular growing up things
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Lurlene McDaniel (born c. 1948) is an author who has written over 50 young adult books. She is well known for writing about characters struggling with chronic and terminal illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes, and organ failure.

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“On our garden walks Mama always used to tell me, 'Angels live in gardens, Darcy.' 'Where?' I would ask, looking around for the white-winged beings I saw drawn on my Sunday school papers.
'Close your eyes and breathe deep.'
'All is smell is flowers, Mama,' I would say.
'Not so. That's the breath of the angels. And the stirrings you hear in the leaves are their wings brushing past.”
“Each generation stamps itself onto the next one. The impression is indelible. Like the flowers in my mother's gardens that come and go with the changing seasons, life re-creates itself. And the best of life must be nurtured if it is to thrive.” 5 likes
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