Perennial: A Garden Romance (set in Oak Park!)
“Can I help you?” The woman in the front section of Devan McLeod’s garden shop had been wandering aimlessly about the store for a full twenty minutes. Usually he tried not to pester the customers; after eleven years in America, he still hadn’t dropped all of his more reserved habits. His Scottish father had been the strong, silent type, but his Indian mother came from shopkeeper roots, and he could just hear her scolding him now. ‘Take care of your customers, son, and they’ll take care of you…’
Perennial tells the story of Kate Smith, an aspiring artist facing a difficult cancer diagnosis, and Devan McLeod, a flower shop owner. It draws on the experiences of the author, Mary Anne Mohanraj, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and treated (successfully) with chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. This little book intercuts poems she wrote over the course of that year with a garden romance. Mohanraj is an enthusiastic Oak Park amateur gardener, and during treatment, she took great solace in her garden. She hopes this book bring solace and joy to its readers.
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