Saturday, January 15, 2011


One of Mason's earliest memories is the hideous attack by a neighbor's dog that left him scarred for life.  He is used to the stares and sidelong glances he gets wherever he goes.

He is also used to his mother's drinking.  At least she has been able to keep her job at a nearby nursing home called Haven of Peace.  All Mason knows about his father is the video that shows only the man from the neck down as he reads a bedtime story at his son's bedside.  Watching the video is calming, and Mason takes it everywhere he goes.

Life is fairly uneventful until the night Mason visits his mother at work.  That's the night he meets the most beautiful girl he's ever seen.  The girl and several other young people are sitting in a semi-sleep state on a couch in the area where his mother works.  He watches in surprise as she carefully takes their blood pressures.  He always thought this was a nursing home for old people.  Why are there young people here?  Why hasn't his mother ever told him about them?

When the beautiful girl suddenly awakens and seems frightened by her surroundings, Mason reacts.  He grabs her and together they leave the nursing home.  What follows turns into a race to discover who she is and then figure out how to save her life.

Mason discovers that his life is full of secrets.  His mother's previous employer, TroDyn is somehow responsible for whatever is going on with the mysterious, beautiful girl.  Mason's attempt to help her may very well bring danger to his mother and him.

Author S.A. Bodeen has crafted an amazing story of one attempt to preserve life for future generations.  A note on the cover of THE GARDENER indicates "this greenhouse...grows humans."  Bodeen's imagination takes readers into a frightening world where children are grown in an attempt to create humans who can survive and even thrive in the event that the world's food supply runs out.  This look at science and technology gone wild will keep readers thinking long after they finish reading.

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