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Pub date August 22, 2021
Price $13.99 (USD) Paperback, $3.47 Kindle edition
Ruggenberg’s latest is a profoundly imaginative and strikingly original collection of short stories. Ruggenberg manages in a few pages to convey his protagonists’ whole lives, never departing from everyday rhythms, and his hilarious, witty prose traces his characters’ joys, sorrows, dreams, hopes, fears, insecurities, griefs, loneliness, and regrets with clarity and understanding. There are a few stories that go over the edge of normality (while portraying the characters’ love for gardening), but majority are relatable and timely, beautifully telescoping the characters’ day-to-day lives. The stories in the collection explore gardeners’ love for gardening, but at its heart, the collection is about love, life, family, relationships, and the power of enduring ties. What makes a home? What is true love? What is it that brings the feeling of despair and loneliness as a person age? In a witty, lighthearted prose, Ruggenberg reflects on deep love, family, marriage, friendship, pain, death, personal struggles, fears, and small moments of happiness. From rollicking fun (“The Seed Summit” and “Subtraction”) and utterly crazy (“The Sunflower” and “Deciduous”) to heartbreaking and sad (“Like A Stump”) and heartening (“Leavesdropping”), the stories delve into everyday moments of crazy, joy, grief, longing, and hope. Reflective and deeply poignant, the collection will stay with reader long after they turn the last page.
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