Charis and Auburn Avenue Research Library welcome Rosey Lee in conversation with Ruth P. Watson for a celebration of The Gardins of Edin: A Novel. 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.
This event takes place at the Auburn Avenue Research Library (101 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303) and is free and open to the public. No ticket or reservation is required to attend. Books will be available for purchase from Charis Books and More. Masks are strongly encouraged. The event will be simulcast on the Auburn Ave Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AuburnAvenueResearchLibrary/) for community members who do not wish to attend live.
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.
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. The Gardins of Edin is her debut novel, and she uses the pen name Rosey Lee as she pursues her passion for writing. Her alter ego is a physician who has dedicated her career to individual and community-based approaches to health equity.
Ruth P. Watson is the author of Blackberry Days of Summer, An Elderberry Fall, Cranberry Winter, and Strawberry Spring. A musical stage play, Blackberry Daze, is based on her debut novel. She is the recipient of the Caversham Fellowship, an artist and writer’s residency in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, where she published her first children’s book in Zulu, Our Secret Bond. She is a freelance writer and member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and has written for Upscale, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and other publications. She is an adjunct professor and project manager, who lives with family in Atlanta, Georgia.
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.
In the vein of The Personal Librarian and The House of Eve, a “remarkable and stirring novel” (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author) based on the inspiring true story of Virginia’s Black Wall Street and the indomitable Maggie Lena Walker, the daughter of a formerly enslaved woman who became the first Black woman to establish and