You know what really perks a gal up when she’s got the mid-winter blues? Being invited to participate in a blog tour for a sunny new novel. The folks at Hachette and Benson PR were kind enough to issue me one such invitation, which is how I came to read Weekends With The Sunshine Gardening Society, the newest novel by Sophie Green.

The story is set in Noosa Heads, circa 1987. Four women are drawn together when they join a waning gardening society. Cynthia has been in LA for 14 years, only returning to her hometown to reunite with her pregnant 19-year-old daughter. Lorraine was Cynthia’s childhood friend; she’s sick of being subsumed by the needs of her husband, sons, and monster-in-law, and glad for any excuse to get out of the house. Kathy is a Melburnian transplant, trying to heal her broken heart by pouring wine on it. And Elizabeth is a young widow with an overgrown garden, trying to hold it all together for her eight-year-old son.

Weekends With The Sunshine Gardening Society is as light and bright as the cover. It’s all very white-bread Australia, but the genuine affection that these women have for one another is touching. There are a lot of criss-crossing sub-plots and complications – a couple of them seem to disappear completely without being fully resolved (Kathy’s painting exhibition, for one, and her fight against the threat of developers for another). But it’s a pleasant and straightforward read all the same, one that might even inspire this brown thumb to do something about the weeds currently overtaking her yard.

Buy Weekends With The Sunshine Gardening Society on Booktopia. (affiliate link)