The book sits on a park bench. The cover of the book is predominantly a timber fence, which you would assume is the boundary fence between two houses. A little girl in a pink dress has scaled it to peer over the other side.
Gwen has a lovely home, surrounded by a magnificent garden which she has designed, grown and cared for over many years. Her garden is a part of who she is. Even more so because her neighbour Babs, who she has shared much of her life with, has created memories with her and their families which are woven in and around this garden.
 
But then Gwen’s whole world changes when Babs passes away unexpectedly. To make matters worse, new neighbours move in. Not only do these new neighbours start to pull up and kill much of the garden that Gwen helped Babs create, they want to pull out her beloved crab apple trees that her and Babs planted along the joint border of their property, to replace it with a fence. 
 
This sets the premise for the story which is woven through both the perspective of Gwen, and her new neighbour Francesa. Both are strong women who are coming to terms with the immense changes that are happening in their lives.
 
“Times have changed. People don’t like neighbours knowing their business.”
… When they first moved in, she’d always sing out hello, acknowledging their presence, being neighbourly. But they barely managed a ‘good morning’ before turning their backs on civility. When Babs was alive, there was always time for a cheery welcome even when neither of them had the time to stop and chat. What has the world come to? 
Meredith Jaffe has superbly crafted a story which takes you through each heartbreaking moment of these woman’s lives. It’s interesting because you end up getting swept up with both Gwen’s and Frankie’s lives, feeling strongly for each. I don’t think it matters who you are, what stage of your life you’re in, their struggles are universal.
 
If you’d like to know more about this book, or watch an interview with the author, you can check out Pan Macmillian’s website.
 
Pan Macmillan have kindly given me two books to giveaway. All you have to do is tag a friend on the Facebook post and, if your name is drawn, I’ll send a book to both you and the friend you tag! The more friends you tag, the more chances you have. Just make sure you only tag one friend in each post – otherwise, if your name is drawn, it will be your dilemma to work out which friend you want the other book to go to!
 
Competition is open to anyone living in Australia, and closes 7pm EST on Tuesday 7 February 2017.

Written by Nadia

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