Reviewed by Louisa
TITLE: The Rhubarb Patch
SERIES: Men of Gilead
AUTHOR: Deanna Wadsworth
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 284 Pages
RELEASE DATE: July 24 2017
City boy, sci-fi novelist, and recovering pushover Scott Howe doesn’t know what to expect when he inherits his grandmother’s house outside the quaint village of Gilead, Ohio—but it isn’t an enormous bald man in nothing but tighty-whities and orange rubber boots shouting at him to keep his weed whacker away from the rhubarb patch.
Scott has never met anyone like Phineas Robertson: homesteader, recluse… Republican. A tender—if unlikely—friendship grows over the summer while Phin and his schnauzer, Sister Mary Katherine, teach Scott about life in the country and the grandmother he never knew. Opposites attract, but widower Phin worries his secret will send Scott running faster than his politics, and Phin isn’t convinced he deserves a second chance at romance.
Scott is convinced—rural life, and his one-of-a-kind, older neighbor is the future he wants. Before he can settle in, his mother drops a bombshell that strains their already tenuous relationship, and a cousin who believes he is the rightful heir to the property puts Scott in danger. It’ll take a lot of compromises, and even dodging a few bullets before they’re out of the weeds, but nurturing something as special as true love always takes hard work.
The Rhubarb Patch was a truly enjoyable book. I opened the first page unaware of the well-crafted tale awaiting me. Not only does this book tell us the story of Scott Howe, city mouse and Phineas Robertson, serious gardener, but it takes you on a journey of history, mistakes, understanding and a happily ever after. I did cry and I laughed and mostly I really enjoyed every one of this books well written pages.
Scott and Phin both have pasts that have effected their lives (like we all have), and they don’t agree on everything. Yet throughout the story they work it out. They don’t change the other man’s mind, they compromise and actually work together at their relationship. I loved this about the story. They also talk and listen, sometimes not well, but they always work through it.
My other favourite thing is how the two men come together. It feels real and right for the characters personality. It is a gradual lead up to their relationship and it really works for this story.
The secondary characters enhance the story. They are not always present, but you feel and sense their effects on the story and on the two MCs. Scott’s mum and her boyfriend provide plenty of tension and his brother Davis a sense of reality for what many gay men face. Sister Mary Katherine is an absolute delight. Scott’s grandmother provides mystery and proof that people can perhaps change, or maybe they are just misunderstood. As the woman who was loved by Phin and hated by Scott’s mother she is the catalyst for so much of the book.
This book also gave me some information that I will now go and research, not because I think it is wrong, but because I realised I lacked some knowledge. The book was not trying to teach me, there is no lecture. It just informed me of something I currently don’t fully understand. I like how this was part of the story. I won’t tell you what it is because I don’t like spoilers and it is an important part of the story.
I really enjoyed this book and as it is the first in what I believe will be a series, I am very much looking forward to book two.