The Garden Angel A Novel

Mindy Friddle

Picador

0312424965

9780312424961

Trade Paperback

304 Pages

$17.00

CAD19.50

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In Sans Souci, South Carolina, talk is cheap, real estate even more so. No one knows this better than Cutter Johanson, a gruff tomboy who waits tables, writes obits, and makes every effort, however comical and in the face of her mercenary relatives, to avert the sale of the dilapidated ancestral home. And despite her plucky resolve, all appears to be lost—until she strikes up an unlikely friendship with Elizabeth, a shy and fragile academic who puts both their fates on the mend.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Garden Angel

"Mindy Friddle has a great comic touch, and her novel is a touching, heartfelt debut."—Richard Russo, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
 
"Friddle has a way with the comic yet apt image . . . funny, down-to-earth, and steeped in a sense of place."—The Washington Post
 
"The southern novel is still alive and kicking, thank heavens, and Friddle gives the genre its due . . . with comic grace. In the tradition of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Friddle's novel celebrates the power of women's friendship."—The Charlotte Observer
 
"A beguiling debut novel. Friddle . . . handles the juxtaposition of two highly eccentric cultures—small-town Southern society and small-college English department—with a light, quirky touch that keeps the story moving along and steadily entertaining."—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
 
"Cutter and Elizabeth . . . women with little in common, forge a deep friendship in this crisp, unusual novel. Trouble strikes them both at once, in the form of Cutter's sister, Ginnie, who is in love with, and newly pregnant by, her English professor, Daniel, childless Elizabeth's husband. Elizabeth, tipped off by an anonymous caller, ventures to the house Ginnie shares with Cutter, who was named Catherine but took her father's name. It’s Cutter whom Elizabeth finds at home, and their shared dismay over the disastrous affair instantly binds them . . . this debut novel is atmospheric in the way of Southern fiction, but it is also brand new. With casual skill, Friddle makes the case that who we like in life may be as critical as who we love. The friendship between Cutter and Elizabeth changes everything. Elizabeth's money will let Cutter keep the house she venerates but that her sister and her brother, Barry, want to sell. And Cutter's practicality wrests Elizabeth free of her notion of herself as an invalid recluse in the Emily Dickinson mold. The happy ending may seem saccharine to some, but the majority of readers are likely to feel that there's vinegar and sharp greens enough along the way to merit the rich sweetness."—Publishers Weekly
 
"A comic delight . . . Winning characters and piquant wit, with an underpinning of graciousness: a standout."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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Mindy Friddle is a former newspaper reporter. She received the 2003 South Carolina Fiction Prize and a Fellowship in Fiction from the South Carolina Academy of Authors. She lives in South Carolina.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Mindy Friddle

  • Mindy Friddle is a former newspaper reporter. She received the 2003 South Carolina Fiction Prize and a Fellowship in Fiction from the South Carolina Academy of Authors. Visit her Web site at www.mindyfriddle.com.
  • Mindy Friddle © Josh Norris
    Mindy Friddle
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