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The Rose-Garden Husband

Margaret Widdemer

Book Overview: 

This novel was written by Margaret Widdemer, who won the Pulitzer prize for her collection of poetry. Phyllis is a 25-years-old children's librarian. She is good at her job. Yet when she sees a girl from her hometown with two children, she discovers she wants more. She marries an invalid who is expected to die. Would she find the love and sense of belonging she craves for? And would he really die?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .hought about it in bed afterwards and was mortified; when her eyes filled with quick tears at a quite dry and unemotional—indeed, rather a sarcastic—quotation from Horace on the part of Mr. De Guenther. But she smiled, when she saw that they noticed her.

"That's the first time I've heard a Latin quotation since I came away from home," she found herself saying quite simply in explanation, "and Father quoted Horace[Pg 44] so much every day that—that I felt as if an old friend had walked in!"

But her hosts didn't seem to mind. Mr. De Guenther in his careful evening clothes looked swiftly across at Mrs. De Guenther in her gray-silk-and-cameo, and they both nodded little satisfied nods, as if she had spoken in a way that they were glad to hear. And then dinner was served, a dinner as different—well, she didn't want to remember in its presence the dinners it differed from; they might have clouded the moment. She merely ate it with a sha. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A novel about a young librarian who, dreaming one day of a husband and a rose garden, soon finds herself with both in store–but reality is always more complicated than the dream. 1915.

Full review (and other recommendations!) at Another Look Book

Oops, forgot to mark this one as read, let alone rev...more

Oh, what a lovely, old-fashioned romance.

Phyllis was alone in the world. She had a good job, as a librarian, and she rented a single room in a boarding house, but it was difficult to makes ends meet. Fortunately, Phyllis was a ‘glass half full’ kind of girl. She enjoyed her work as the children’s...more

Oh, this is pure delight! It's a lighthearted little romance, very clean, very fun...others have described the story, so I will only add how much I enjoyed it! In three hours I found a new favorite and reread the ending three times...more

Perfectly, sublimely sweet love story from 1915. So very much up my alley it's unreal. I think I will try to find a hard copy of it. I loved it. (Is that clear yet?)
A young woman named Phyllis, who is quite on her own, works in a library. She's grateful for the job, and it's a pretty decent job,...more

Need to decide what to say here; maybe a nap would help. Or some chocolate.

A few hours later:
Okay, I've had my chocolate and I think I'm ready to go.

I added this book to my lists a few years ago when I made up a personal challenge with titles using names of flowers. Before I finally started rea...more

If you're a fan of "The Blue Castle" by L.M. Montgomery, you will probably love "The Rose-Garden Husband". :)

This is the story of Phyllis, a librarian who works six days a week and lives in a city boarding-house. Her life is filled to the brim with reading stories to sticky, adorable children who...more

So this popped up in my Goodreads feed three different times over the past week, so I thought I might as well read it. It's a one-sitting read and will appeal to readers of Daddy Long Legs and Frances Hodgson Burnett's the Making of a Marchioness and the Blue Castle.

The language is archaic to th...more

Phyllis is fed up with her life. Working as a librarian six days a week, tired and bored with no money, she longs for a life of leisure in the country, with pretty frocks, time to keep pretty, a rose-garden and a husband.

This kind of life seems totally out of reach until, one day, she is visited...more

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