|Willakenzie Lavender Farm,|
O'Neal's source for her Lavender Honey Farms
Each member of the Foodie Four—eighty-four-year-old Lavender Wills, an airline stewardess during the 60s and 70s and current owner of Lavender Honey Farms; nearly fifty Ginny Smith, small-town grocery store baker turned cake photographer; twenty-six-year-old Ruby Zarlingo, vegan chef; and forty-seven-year-old Valerie Andrews, former prima ballerina and wine connoisseur—drawn by her passion for food, began her own blog. Five years earlier, Lavender asked Ruby if she could use information Ruby posted on her blog about herbs; Valerie contacted Lavender about wine and lavender pairings; Ruby became intrigued by Ginny's beautiful new blog; and soon the four were knee-deep in conversations about the technical and marketing issues of blogging, conversations that gradually began to include the personal as well as the professional. Despite the difference in their ages, backgrounds, geographical locations, and family situations, the magic of the Internet allows Lavender, Ruby, Ginny, and Val reach across time and space and form an encouraging, loving female community. A community that is coming together at long last to meet in celebration of Lavender's birthday.
And this is the third gift that O'Neal offers: the gift of new beginnings, the gift of moving on. Ginny isn't the only one who uses the opportunity of the trip to Lavender's Oregon farm to take stock of her life, and to change its direction. Whether it is moving on from a deadening marriage, from the confusion of a relationship ended without explanation, or even from the excoriating pain of grief, O'Neal shows us women in transition, women supporting one another as each struggles to emerge from a time of confusion and pain, shucking off the temporary cocoon such times require to emerge on the other side, ready to embrace new possibilities, new beginnings.
ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
Lavender: Willakenzie Lavender Farm
Blog banners: Barbara O'Neal
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