It Started on a Garden Tour: A Romantic Comedy
IT STARTED ON A GARDEN TOUR explores themes of growing through identity crisis brought on by work retirement, loss of a spouse, or relationship changes.
Syd, 62, widower, retired Civil Engineer is dealing with the devastation of his wife's death after he retired, leaving him with an emptiness he never could have fathomed. Facing new choices he eschewed returning to the workforce, eventually finding purpose in gardening and painting; considers his marital status: safely remaining single with its grand independence and awful loneliness; safely replacing his wife with a widowed friend thus keeping the same pattern of lifestyle; or, taking some risks to find an intimate new kind of relationship. Syd's theme: growing through change as he makes a new life for himself.
Arielle, 55, is a violinist in the city symphony and has private pupils for music and ballet. She never married but has broken from a long common law relationship with a high powered businessman. Always meeting the wrong man, she never found trust within an intimate relationship that would allow her to be herself and experience a balance of dependence and independence for herself and her partner. Arielle's theme: growing into the single life as the only way for her to thrive as a human being.
Syd and Arielle are attracted to each other, but both realize the artificiality of a trip as a place to develop a relationship. They are mature adults who are not about to make fools of themselves.
To complicate things, lonely widowed socialite Grace, has come on the trip to catch Syd as a replacement for her deceased husband.
But Jack, retired custodian, possessing inter-personal skills beyond his own understanding, becomes match-maker and foiler.
The tone of the novel is mature, dignified, sensitive, and above all, humorous.