Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Book Review - Landscape of a Marriage by Gail Ward Olmsted @gwolmsted @maryanneyarde


Landscape of a Marriage 

By Gail Ward Olmsted

Publication Date: July 29, 2021. Publisher: Black Rose Writing. Page Length: 314 Pages. Genre: Historical Fiction.

A marriage of convenience leads to a life of passion and purpose. A shared vision transforms the American landscape forever.

New York, 1858: Mary, a young widow with three children, agrees to marry her brother-in-law Frederick Law Olmsted, who is acting on his late brother’s deathbed plea to "not let Mary suffer”. But she craves more than a marriage of convenience and sets out to win her husband’s love. Beginning with Central Park in New York City, Mary joins Fred on his quest to create a 'beating green heart' in the centre of every urban space. 

Over the next 40 years, Fred is inspired to create dozens of city parks, private estates and public spaces with Mary at his side. Based upon real people and true events, this is the story of Mary’s journey and personal growth and the challenges inherent in loving a brilliant and ambi-tious man. 

Book Rating:

πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š⭐ = A book in a million

πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š = I could not put this book down. I Highly Recommend it.

πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š = A really great read.

πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š = It was enjoyable.

πŸ“šπŸ“š = It was okay.

πŸ“š = Um...! πŸ˜•

My Review

Landscape of a Marriage 

πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š = A really great read.

The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick "Fred" Law Olmsted, is remembered for his dazzling designs and beautiful parks. What isn't spoken about is his personal life - what was he like as a husband and a father? Landscape of a Marriage by Gail Ward Olmsted is the story of Mary Olmsted, Fred's wife. And it shines an insightful light on the man behind all of the beauty.

I was really looking forward to reading this novel because the blurb really intrigued me. I am so glad I agreed to review this book because this novel did not disappoint, in fact, it enlightened me. As a workaholic/genius, Fred is determined to design beautiful parks. But while he is swept away with his ideas, his family seemingly falls by the wayside. He is a man committed to his work.  Fred was a fascinating character to read about.

Mary was a character that I simply adored. Her determination to keep her children safe, fed and educated is commendable. When she marries Fred she does so for love and the security he can give her, but there are moments in this novel where his unintentional neglect means that she has to fend for herself until he remembers he has a family again.

All in all, this is a very enjoyable novel and the historical setting gives it a sense of authenticity.

You can pick up your copy of this book on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon AU, Amazon CA and the Publisher.

Gail Ward Olmsted was a marketing executive and a college professor before she began writing fiction on a full-time basis. A trip to Sedona, AZ inspired her first novel Jeep Tour. Three more novels followed before she began Landscape of a Marriage, a biographical work of fiction featuring landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, a distant cousin of her husband’s, and his wife Mary. 

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