The Naked Gardener by LB Gschwandtner

Artist Katelyn Cross loves Greg Mazur and he loves her. He wants to be married but a previous relationship that went sour has made Katelyn overly cautious about any permanent commitment. And what about Greg’s first wife? He lost her to cancer and Katelyn worries that he’s only looking for a replacement. What’s a girl to do? Canoe down a river with five gal pals, camp out, catch fish, talk about life and men. The problem is, a river can be as unpredictable as any relationship and just as hard to manage. On their last day, when the river turns wild, the women face the challenge of a lifetime and find that staying alive means saving themselves first while being open to help from a most unlikely source. As Katelyn navigates the raging water, she learns how to overcome her fear of change in a world where nothing stays the same. When Katelyn returns to her garden, she’ll face one more obstacle and the naked gardener will meet the real Greg Mazur.

I loved the earthiness of this book -- not just in the garden of the title,but also in the very real characters struggling with very real issues in a setting that strips away the trappings and technological complexities of modern life. LB Gschwandtner's rich, observant prose brings the book's Vermont setting to life right alongside the core characters, to whom women everywhere will relate on many levels. A must-read for summer!