Gal Garner distracts herself from the high school biology class she teaches and the rigors of kidney disease (though shes only 36) by cultivating roses, which she carefully cross-pollinates with the hope of winning Queen of Show in competition. Then her teenage niece, daughter of her estranged sister, arrives without warning and upends everything. Not an uncommon plot, but theres lots of enthusiasm for this second novel, with a special emphasis on book club promotion, and Dilloways affecting How To Be an American Housewife won strong reviews.

Gal wants her rose to win in a major competition and bring that rose to market. But one afternoon her teenaged niece Riley arrives unannounced. Filled with gorgeous details of the art of rose breeding, this is a testament to the redemptive power of love.