She Sings of Old, Unhappy, Far-off Things

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 review
Margaret Braithwaite, a fifty-ish professor, lives in the shadow of her famous husband, Gavin, who is terminally ill. When he hires Wyck Fitzsimmons to restore his gardens, Margaret slowly realizes her heart can feel love again. Gavin, though, is determined not to let death stop him from holding onto his wife. Love can take root in the most barren hearts, if Margaret and Wyck can let it grow. More
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About Caren J. Werlinger

Bestselling author Caren Werlinger published her first award-winning novel, Looking Through Windows, in 2008. Since then, she has published seventeen more novels, winning several more awards. In 2021, she was awarded the Alice B Medal for her body of work. Influenced by a diverse array of authors, including Rumer Godden, J.R.R. Tolkein, Ursula LeGuin, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Willa Cather and the Brontë sisters, Caren writes literary fiction that features the struggles and joys of characters readers can identify with. Her stories cover a wide range of genres: historical fiction, contemporary drama, and the award-winning Dragonmage Saga, a fantasy trilogy set in ancient Ireland. She has lived in Virginia for over thirty years where she practices physical therapy, teaches anatomy and lives with her wife and their canine fur-children.

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Reviews of She Sings of Old, Unhappy, Far-off Things by Caren J. Werlinger

Terry Baker reviewed on June 2, 2014

Margaret Braithwaite was an up and coming Regency scholar, as well as a published author. All that changed for her when she married Gavin, a college professor almost thirty years her senior. After her marriage, Margaret’s talents were overshadowed by her famous husband until over the years, they were virtually non existent. As the years go past, Margaret becomes a shadow of her former self, just floating along in Gavin’s wake.

Asheville landscape architect, Wyck Fitzsimmons, is hired by Gavin to restore his neglected gardens to their once pristine condition. Wyck is more at home with plants and animals than with people. They are much safer than women anyway.

Gavin’s gardens are once again blooming due to Wyck’s expertise. The gardens aren’t the only thing to be blooming, Margaret is feeling the bloom of love for the first time in over thirty years. The feelings scare her more than being alone forever after Gavin’s impending death.

Gavin can see the attraction and love between his wife and Wyck sparking. With this knowledge, he takes steps to ensure that Margaret will remain forever tied to him and the university where they both work after his death.

Faced with the choice of love or destitution, Margaret runs away to England to immerse herself in Jane Austen and Wordsworth country, two of her all time favorite writers and to distance herself from her inner turmoil. She has to forget all about love and Wyck. Even though Gavin is dead, she’s still his wife, isn’t she?

Wyck is alone in North Carolina. She has her own demons from the past to overcome. They say lightening never strikes twice in the same place. But it has for her and she’s devastated. How could she have let this happen?

Will Margaret and Wyck look to the love growing within their hearts and find the courage to overcome all odds to be together? Or will a dying, bitter old man and his awful legacy after his death, forever tear them apart?

Another masterpiece from Master Storyteller Caren J Werlinger. Each of her books is so vastly different from the last. I never know what to expect. But the one thing I’ve come to expect and have never been disappointed in is, her writing is consistently good, her stories diverse and they are page turners from start to finish.

There are some authors I’d buy without reading any synopsis or knowing anything about the story. This is one such author. An author I trust will entertain me with a book I can’t put down.

This story is emotionally charged and a page turner from the outset. The fact that the fully developed, multi-faceted main characters are so vastly different on the outside, yet on the inside, not so different, adds fuel to the slow burn throughout, until it’s final combustion at the end.

The story is full of twists and turns all the way through. There is angst and tears followed by laughter and mirth. It’s not all doom and gloom. The path the reader is taken on is one I eagerly followed and was very sorry to see end.

Added in to the turmoil of love, are the feelings Margaret suffers of inadequacy due to the eighteen year age difference between her and Wyck. But, does age matter when you meet your soul mate? After all, it’s only a number.

I’m not going to add in any spoilers, but suffice it to say, that this is a story that will stay with me for a long time. There are people like Margaret and Wyck. People who try so hard to please others that it is at the expense of their own happiness. People who are simply too nice for their own self preservation.This story takes us on the long winding journey down the path to real love and to accept that it is deserved.

Will Margaret choose to leave her comfort zone and give up everything to be with Wyck? Will Wyck even want Margaret after everything that’s happened? Read this book and find out. You won’t be disappointed.
(reviewed 39 days after purchase)

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