Marlene Hauser

Geraniums – an uncomfortable story

Geraniums (The Book Guild) is Marlene Hauser’s second novel. It’s an uncomfortable story of a young girl growing up in a dysfunctional family in the US with a father in the forces and his ever-interfering mother for whom no one is good enough for her boy. Certainly not her daughter in law who is despatched to the margins, or even her granddaughter, Lily who is guilty by association – her mother incarnate and infecting her brother and sister. The emotional attachment is punctuated by sometimes harrowing and sudden detachment, and the family moves on with new towns, new schools, and Dad’s new girlfriends. Through the constant change, being put down, and the insistence on conformity, Lily’s remarkable positivity and will has you pulling for her. The abuse of trust and responsibility has to come to a head, and it’s well handled and redemptive while keeping you turning the pages with empathy and curiosity. The author Marlene Hauser is unagented, and I understand has many more books in the pipeline. I will certainly be back for more.

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