ALL THE PRETTY PLACES: A NOVEL OF THE GILDED AGE
BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORICAL FICTION
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 is restricted to the rich and privileged in the Gilded Age.
1893: In the little town of Rye, New York, it seems everyone—like the rest of the country—is in an economic panic. Once acclaimed for its rare and exotic plant species, Rye Nurseries—the largest nursery on the East Coast—is the supplier of choice for the most respected landscape architects, but now businesses in the community seem to close by the handful weekly. The threat to her family’s livelihood keeps twenty-two-year-old Sadie Fremd up at night. Her father seems unconcerned by the crisis and is determined to pass the nursery on to one of his sons—despite Sadie’s ardent study of horticulture. Her dreams are all wrapped up in the nursery, a company on the brink of closing, which would leave hundreds of people out of jobs and Sadie’s dream lost forever.
Sadie encourages her father to seek partnerships with big names of the day—the Rockefellers, Goulds, and Starins, among others—to help their nursery remain stable. As she becomes more involved in the business of natural beauty, she begins to notice something. Outside the gates of mansions owned by the elite, people linger—the mourning, the poor, the struggling. Sadie is forced to reckon with whether only the privileged deserve a right to the beauty she helps inspire. Then a conversation with a man who lost everything changes Sadie’s perspective forever and prompts her to make a choice that has the potential to leave the nursery, her family, and her dreams in ruins.
“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.”
—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Surviving Savannah
“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.”
—Adele Myers, author of The Tobacco Wives
“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!”
—Kim Wright, author of Last Ride to Graceland
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joy Callaway is the author of The Grand Design, The Fifth Avenue Artists Society, and Secret Sisters. She holds a BA in journalism and public relations from Marshall University and an MMC from the University of South Carolina. She resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, John, and her children, Alecia and John.
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