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When the bonds in their family begin to fray, four Black women fight to preserve their legacy, heal their wounds, and move forward together in this heartwarming contemporary debut novel with loose parallels to beloved women from the Bible.
“The surprises and heart in this fast-paced family drama kept me turning pages late into the night.”—KJ Dell’Antonia, New York Times bestselling author of The Chicken Sisters
The four women of the Gardin family live side-by-side in Edin, Georgia, but residing in tight proximity doesn’t mean everything is picture-perfect. Ruth runs the family’s multimillion-dollar peanut business, a legacy of the Gardins’ formerly enslaved ancestors. But tensions have intensified since the death of her husband, Beau, and she feels like an outsider in the very place she wishes to belong.
Sisters Mary and Martha fuel the family tension. Martha’s unfounded mistrust of Ruth causes her to constantly seek ways to undermine Ruth’s decisions with the business, while Mary, trying to focus on her new restaurant that serves healthy comfort food, is dragged into the family fray by Martha.
For years, Naomi, the matriarch who raised the sisters after their parents’ death and supported Ruth in her grief, has played peacemaker. But as she decides to take a step back, hidden truths, life-and-death circumstances, and escalating clashes finally force the Gardin women to grapple with what it means to be a family.
A heartwarming Southern story of family and all its many complexities, The Gardins of Edin delivers a thoughtful portrayal of four women trying to hold on to their secrets. Women who just might—if they can only let go—find the peace they seek by holding on to one another.
About the Author
Rosey Lee writes stories about complicated families and complex friendships, but a happy ending is guaranteed. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she enjoys cooking, flower arranging, and occasional bursts of fanatical bargain shopping. She grew up on the Westbank of New Orleans, Louisiana, and carries the area and her loved ones in her heart when she’s away from them.
“In a clever twist, debut author Rosey Lee plucks four women inspired by the Bible and sets them down in a tension-filled contemporary Black family struggling to find answers to messy and pesky questions. As they sort out relational fireworks, will they figure out how to stay a family and also be their best selves? It’s a loving and lovely journey from an exciting, talented new author willing to explore the meaning of family in intriguing ways.”—Patricia Raybon, Christy Award–winning author of the Annalee Spain Mystery series and two critically acclaimed memoirs, My First White Friend and I Told the Mountain to Move
“Rosey Lee’s The Gardins of Edin testifies to all what it means to be family. It conveys the passion, heartbreak, faithfulness, and conflict that come with loving the people closest to you. Readers will wish they owned a cottage on the Gardin estate or lived close enough to witness firsthand all the goings-on in Lee’s fascinating saga.”—Robin W. Pearson, Christy Award–winning author
“Nothing complicates a family more than a family business. The Gardins of Edin by Rosey Lee is a gorgeous debut that freshly examines the painful past of two sisters and their matriarch, their cousin by marriage, and their successful peanut farm. With courage and ambition akin to the casts and epic dramas of Tayari Jones, Lee has written a page-turner of grief and hope.”—Melissa Scholes Young, author of The Hive
“With complex and intriguing characters reminiscent of their biblical namesakes, Rosey Lee’s The Gardins of Edin provides an allegorical look at friendship, family tension, and the concept of forgiveness.”—Kimmery Martin, author of Doctors and Friends