All the Pretty Places

A Novel of the Gilded Age

by Joy Callaway

On Sale: 2023-05-09

Price: $17.99

Book Summary

Joy Callaway returns with a captivating story of a strong woman in a striking setting, examining the life-changing effects of the beauty of nature and how that splendor was restricted to the rich and privileged in the Gilded Age.

About the Book

“A timeless and powerful novel of a daring woman who must decide if she will risk everything to follow her passion and find her voice.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author

From the moment she was born, the transforming beauty of her family’s nurseries has arrested her heart. From the moment she knew love, her heart belonged with his. Now she’s at risk of losing them both.

Rye, New York, 1893. Sadie Fremd’s dreams hinge on her family’s nursery, which has been the supplier of choice for respected landscape architects on the East Coast for decades. Now her small town is in a panic as the economy plummets into a depression, and Sadie’s father is pressuring her to secure her future by marrying a wealthy man among her peerage—but Sadie has never been one to play it safe. Besides, her heart is already spoken for.

Rather than seek potential suitors, Sadie pursues new business from her father’s most reliable and wealthy clients of the Gilded Age in an attempt to bolster the floundering nursery. But the more time Sadie spends in the secluded gardens of the elite, the more she notices the hopelessness in the eyes of those outside the mansions. The poor, the grieving, the weary. The people with no access to the restorative beauty of nature.

Sadie has always wanted her father to pass his business to her instead of to one of her brothers, but he seems oblivious to her desire and talent—and now to her passion for providing natural beauty to those who can’t afford it. When former employee, Sam, shows up unexpectedly, Sadie wonders if their love can be rekindled or if his presence will simply be another reminder of a life she longs for and cannot have.

Joy Callaway illuminates the life of her great-great-grandmother in this captivating story about a daring woman following her passion and finding her voice, while exploring natural beauty and its effect in the lives of those who need it most.

  • Historical Gilded Age novel about an early American landscape nursery
  • Stand-alone novel
  • Also by Joy Callaway: The Grand Design, The Fifth Avenue Artists Society, and Secret Sisters
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs


'All The Pretty Places is a timeless and powerful novel of a daring woman who must decide if she will risk everything to follow her passion and find her voice. Callaway's wise and insightful prose gives life to Sadie Fremd, a woman who understands the value of beauty and the vulnerability of love. For anyone who has ever had to find their voice in a crowd shouting to be the same as everyone else, Sadie Fremd will be your hero. With lush gardens so generously described that one feels as if they can pick the flowers, All the Pretty Places is immersive, engaging, and full of wonder.'

'All the Pretty Places is a verdant, gorgeous novel, filled with lush scenery, fascinating characters, and engaging drama. Callaway skillfully transports her readers into the Gilded Age gardens of the late-twentieth century, where the yearnings of the heart come into conflict with the economic realities of the time. I was instantly swept away and stayed enraptured by the story to its very last page.'

'If you yearn for a more gracious era, when natural beauty was a human birthright, you'll adore Joy Callaway's ALL THE PRETTY PLACES. Landscape designer Sadie Fremd is a forward-thinking heroine who wants three things--to inherit her father's plant nursery, to create a public park in her hometown of Rye, New York, and to marry Sam Jenkins, a family employee who shares her vision of bringing nature to everyone, regardless of income or status. Sadie's struggle to be taken seriously in an age when women are considered as ornamental as roses and her desire to freely pursue both her talents and her heart create a warm and engaging novel. And the fact that the story is based on Callaway's real-life ancestors only makes ALL THE PRETTY PLACES an even more satisfying read!'

'Inspired by her own family history, Joy Callaway's All the Pretty Places is a gorgeously written novel about a Gilded Age nursery, the beauty of nature, the ugliness of the world, and how one woman blossoms to discover the wonder in the world and within herself.'

'Joy Callaway's All the Pretty Places is a fascinating, heartwarming story that brings to light a time and place where only the wealthy had access to the beauty and restorative power of gardens. This Gilded Age tale, set in Rye, New York, in the late 1800s, follows one courageous young woman, Sadie Fremd, as she navigates a world where men lead and women follow. Despite the expectations of her father and polite society, Sadie is determined to build a life for herself, a life filled with purpose, true love, and pretty places for all. Callaway draws us into Sadie's world with gorgeous prose (you can practically feel the rich, damp soil and smell the sweet lilacs) that transports readers to the lush landscapes that Sadie will go to any lengths to protect.'

'Masterfully written with elegant prose and exquisite detail, Joy Callaway crafts a story as sumptuous and colorful as the Gilded Age gardens she transports readers to. All The Pretty Places is the story of a young woman fighting for personal and professional integrity and freedom, as well as a searing social commentary on poverty, privilege, and class discrepancy. I found myself cheering for Sadie with each page and tearing up at the emotional and nuanced ending.'

Slow, rich with revelation, and packed with historical insight, Callaway's novel offers a Gilded Age that forsakes ballrooms to elevate working-class life and new values. Particularly striking are Sadie's strength and sense of honor, such that she finds purposeful flirtation to be both distasteful and deceitful. Her secret gift of gardens to humble districts nearby is life-giving, and Callaway offers twists for an ultimate rescue resulting from Sadie's own integrity.

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781400234400
  • ISBN 10: 1400234409
  • On Sale: 2023-05-09
  • Pages: 400
  • List Price: $17.99
  • Publisher: Harper Muse
  • Category 1 : FICTION / Historical
  • Category 2 : FICTION / Biographical
  • Category 3 : FICTION / Contemporary Women