Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, The

Dilloway, Margaret

  12 Reviews

As prickly as the roses she breeds, Galilee 'Gal' Garner lives a very disciplined existence. When she is not teaching high school biology, she is with her beloved roses, attempting to bring a new breed to commercial success, or at hospital undergoing dialysis. School, roses, hospital, ad infinitum, that is until her teenage niece Riley turns up on her doorstep, promising upheaval.

This uplifting story navigates the thorny challenge of chronic disease and family dynamics, beautifully balanced with the intricacies of rose gardening.



CHCH 317
This book was universally enjoyed. While some of the group took time to get into the story, once the characters were established we found it a well-written story with an easy style. The three themes of rose propagation, kidney dialysis and the 15 year old niece all resonated, and were mixed extremely well into the story.
Great read, we enjoyed the two characters getting to know each other. Interesting take on the dialysis part - not how patients experience it in NZ, so that was interesting for those of us who are health professionals. Mostly all enjoyed it.
A delightful novel that held interest for all the group. Despite being an easy read the content intrigued and enlightened us, not only about roses but also gave insights into kidney dialysis. The title was applicable to many aspects of the story, the characters were strong, believable, and so accurately portrayed - all of us remembering those teenage moods!
The majority of the group loved the book - one described it as 'alright'. We all learnt more about rose growing and even for non-gardeners that aspect was interesting. After a good discussion we agreed that though Gal could be annoying, inflexible, and always right -to be able to continue living her life, it had to be very prescribed. Having her niece come to stay broadened her outlook and allowed her to grow as a person. There were some very poignant moments and the title was so apt in various ways.
WINT 001
We all enjoyed this book. There were a number of different threads and characters which made the book interesting to read. The discussion was wide ranging, with everything from coping with organ failure, to the nature of parental and school expectations. Some really enjoyed the rose growing information. A good book to finish the year off with.
ASHB 003
All group members enjoyed this book. We found Gal frustrating at times. Lively discussion.
AUCK 306
Pretty lukewarm reviews from the group except for one member who happened to be really into roses! The rest of the group wanted more to happen (perhaps because our previous books have all been more dramatic!).
A range of opinions - some did not enjoy the writing style but we all enjoyed the story. We had a great discussion on some of the themes - organ donation, right and wrong and sibling rivalry.
AUCK 137
We all enjoyed this book. The characters were believable and flowed nicely. Interesting insights into rose growing and dialysis. There were interesting family dynamics with the healthy child feeling that most of the attention was going to the ill sibling, and the fall-out from that. There was the prospect of a reasonably positive resolution.
AUCK 027
A light and enjoyable read.
As always there were diverse opinions, but generally it was a good read.
AUCK 006
We were a bit apprehensive about the book at first. It is a thick book, but fortunately the print was respectable for our aging eyes. We also weren't too sure about the topic - kidney failure and its ramifications for families. Nevertheless as a group we buckled down to read it. Surprisingly, although most members thought it reasonably heavy going, the discussion took up most of our meeting. We found the questions really stimulating and although we didn't get too heated, we felt that the conversations the book generated were really interesting.