The Colored Garden

Front Cover
Laughing Owl Pub., 2000 - Fiction - 264 pages
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On the farm of Ruth and Charles Standard is a tiny cemetery of mostly uncut rock and stones. It is a remnant from the days when their land was a small patch of a great tobacco plantation. Residing there, from generations long past, are slaves who were laid to rest under the ground they once worked. One marker tells a far different story. It is the marker of an infant that reads, "Kate. Born and died the same week. Budded on earth to blossom in heaven". And the baby is not all that lies buried in the garden.

The Colored Garden is a story about storytellers: a boy called Sarge and his grandmother, Ruth, whose farm he visits in the wake of his parents' separation. Ruth tends the old slave cemetery as a beautiful flower garden and, during this pivotal summer in Sarge's life, she tells him the adventures of the dead slaves. Listening to Ruth and observing the behavior of the adults around him, Sarge learns that some secrets we keep, while others keep us.

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