Perennials - Julie Cantrell


By Julie Cantrell

  • Release Date: 2017-11-14
  • Genre: Religious
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 8 Ratings)

Book Synopsis

“This is a book to read more than once.” —Karen White, New York Times bestselling author

“If Julie Cantrell isn’t on your reading list, she should be.” —Lisa Wingate, national bestselling author

When two estranged sisters reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary, a family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.

Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—grew up safe and secure in Oxford, Mississippi, surrounded by a rich literary history and her mother’s stunning flower gardens. But a shed fire, and the injuries it caused, changed everything. Her older sister, Bitsy, blamed Lovey for the irreparable damage. Bitsy became the homecoming queen and the perfect Southern belle who could do no wrong. All the while, Lovey served as the family scapegoat, always bearing the brunt when Bitsy threw blame her way.

At eighteen, suffocating in her sister’s shadow, Lovey turned down a marriage proposal and fled to Arizona. Free from Bitsy’s vicious lies, she became a successful advertising executive and a weekend yoga instructor, carving a satisfying life for herself. But at forty-five, Lovey is feeling more alone than ever and questioning the choices that led her here.

When her father calls insisting she come home three weeks early for her parents’ 50th anniversary, Lovey is at her wits’ end. She’s about to close the biggest contract of her career, and there’s a lot on the line. But despite the risks, her father’s words, “Family First,” draw her back to the red-dirt roads of Mississippi.

Lovey is drawn in to a secret project—a memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise. As she helps create this sacred space, Lovey begins to rediscover her roots, learning how to live perennially in spite of life’s many trials and tragedies.

Years ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.

Tags in Religious : Perennials Julie Cantrell ebook , Perennials Julie Cantrell epub , Perennials Julie Cantrell AUDIOBOOK , Perennials by Julie Cantrell ePub (.epub) , Perennials book review , Religious

Latest Impressions

  • So familiar it hurts...

    By Stephany Renae
    Confession? I don’t even like flowers in real life. Or yoga. Or general outdoorsiness. I don’t even have a sister. In spite of all that, Perennials by Julie Cantrell still felt so familiar that, at times, it hurt. Like, you know that feeling when you visit your hometown or spend time with your parents or extended family or even old friends? How in some ways you kind of subconsciously revert to the version of yourself that you were with them? You all just seamlessly fall back in to old rhythms and roles as if months or years of time and life and experience haven’t unfolded since you were last part of each others’ daily lives. And, even if you snap out of the haze long enough to remind yourself that you are an actual adult with bills and children and accomplishments, it doesn’t mean that everyone else won’t still be holding on to and expecting you to behave like the old version of you that lives in their memories. It can be both supremely comforting and incredibly maddening at the same time. Cantrell does a beautiful job of putting words to this experience. Probably one of the best depictions I’ve ever seen. I especially liked the subtle touches that further exaggerated this depiction. For example, the main character’s name is Eva. Everyone in her adult life, the life she has created for herself in Arizona, calls her Eva. When she returns to her hometown in Mississippi, not only does she *feel* like she’s gone back in time to her childhood and to all of the roles & relationships & memories she had tried to leave behind, but to add insult to injury, everyone there calls her by her childhood nickname, Lovey. Another subtle piece of authenticity that I noticed (and appreciated) because, full disclosure, I listened to the first few chapters via audiobook was the way the narrator’s accent ebbed and flowed depending on who the character was talking to. I don’t know if this was the author’s coaching or the narrator’s own artistic direction but kudos to whoever came up with it. I guess I should back track a little because this probably doesn’t make much sense to any one that doesn’t have an accent that differs from the region where they currently live or hasn’t witnessed an accented friend or family member be back amongst “their own”. Perennials starts with Eva/Lovey in Arizona talking to Arizonans. Her southern accent (as portrayed by the narrator) is definitely still noticeable but not an all out drawl. When she takes a call from her parents, a little more slips out and when she gets upset or worried it intensifies all the more but goes back into the closet once she’s off the phone and talking to her Arizonan coworkers. By the time she’s been back in Mississippi for a week or so? Full on Gone With the Wind. Even still, it ebbs a bit when she checks in with the office. If that isn’t real life, I don’t know what is. Anyway, I could say so much more about this book but it seems I’ve nearly written a book of my own already. There’s a ton of buzz surrounding this book & it is well worth every bit. With all of the press Perennials has received, you can read about some of the more central themes and plot points all over the internet but these were just a few of the things or themes that really stood out to me that I haven’t seen discussed or recognized yet. Julie Cantrell really is a beautiful story teller. Perennials will have you crying, laughing, wanting your mama and reevaluating your entire life all at once.
  • Confused

    By Catbird1985
    I enjoyed this book and felt it had a lot to offer, but the mix mash of religions left me feeling like the author is confused or trying to be inclusive. Truth is truth, don’t insult it by watering it down with pc crud.

    By Ellen/Oceanside
    Eva finally fleeing from being under her sister Bitsy to Arizona. Now awaiting a big contract, a success in her career at 45,wonders about her choices. Her dad summons her to come home for their anniversary, for three weeks., to build a memory garden. They never visited her in Arizona so she didn’t know what to expect. Is what she had thought all though years as true today. Her sister married and has two children, would she even be welcome. A love of doing the garden, becomes so much more, and readers will delight in them, and this story. Given ARC. by ?Thomas Nelson for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
  • A new novel by Julie Cantrell

    By Kris Anderson, The Avid Reader
    Perennials is a new novel by Julie Cantrell. Eva “Lovely” Sutherland grew up in Oxford, Mississippi. Thanks to her sister, Bitsy and her lies, Eva was quick to move to Phoenix when she turned eighteen. Laurel and Chief Sutherland will be celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary soon and they would like Eva to return home early. Eva just landed the account of her career with a tight deadline, but she agrees to return home. Unfortunately, Bitsy has not changed and is antagonistic (bitter, nasty, jealous). Eva helps her father plan a special memory garden as a surprise for her mother. It gives Eva a chance to work with her friend and former boyfriend, Fisher Oaklen as well as remember her dream of becoming a flower farmer. Eva is given an opportunity to look back on her life and decide what she wants for her future. Is it possible to go home again? Can Bitsy and Eva get past their differences? Perennials is a spiritual novel (not Christian) with focus on Buddhism. Yoga and Buddhism are frequently mentioned throughout the story (Buddhist prayer wheel, yoga poses, etc.). The one Christian thing mentioned repeatedly is “Judas has a story” (two sides to every story). Julie Cantrell is a descriptive writer. She paints a picture with words. Ms. Cantrell describes nature (flowers, trees, birds) and the town in detail. Some of the flower descriptions are lovely (people who enjoy gardening will appreciate it). I found Perennials to be a slow-paced story that failed to capture and hold my attention (it actually put me to sleep which is hard to do since I suffer from insomnia). It is basically a story of sibling rivalry (I could go down the street to my sisters to experience this type of behavior) with a predictable ending (it turned out exactly as I predicted when I started reading it).