Review: The Naked Gardener by LB Gschwandtner

The Naked Gardener by LB Gschwandtner
Release Date: August 17,2010
Publisher: CreateSpace
Page Count: 209
Source: from the author

In a remote forest of northern Vermont, Katelyn Cross takes five women on a wilderness canoe trip where they hope to come up with ideas for saving their dying town. Although the river is not always what it seems and the women have not left their problems behind, a painting ritual creates a new way for them to look at the world–and themselves.

Review:  Six women, three days, and one river. When I first read the blurb, I was afraid I was about to read Deliverance with women.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.  The Naked Gardener is the story of six women of varying ages, walks of life, and personalities coming into themselves. It’s a poignant story of discovery, self-acceptance, and understanding.
Katelyn had always wanted to canoe down the Trout River, more specifically the Trout River Falls.

And when the women of the city council need a gimmick to save their dying town, the ladies use brainstorming ideas as the perfect excuse for the “girls only” weekend canoe trip. It is the quintessential “girls night out”–on steroids.

But the trip turns out to be much more than a way to figure out how to save the town. Each woman brings her own individual angst, issues, and problems on what turns out to be a very enlightening and fateful trip.

Beautifully written, artistic, and touching, The Naked Gardner is a novel of coming to terms. Each character has to discover, reveal, and accept who they are, the changes they face, and the lives they are living at that moment in time.

There’s a piece of every one of these women in us all. Hope the virgin, Valerie the aging beauty queen, and Katelyn who’s afraid to get her heart broken again. As for the others? Well, I can’t spoil the story. You’ll just have to read it for yourself.

Quote:  From Katelyn “Artists have all of the same struggles everyone else has. Except they rarely make enough money to live on, and they have the extra burden of being pushed internally by ideas and visions that nobody else has. It’s not a decision. It’s built in.”


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