Esperanza. Hope. There is life beyond the familiar, beyond the barrios, beyond fear, exhaustion, hard times. Sandra C. Lopez’s Beyond the Gardens is one of the sweetest, most hopeful stories I’ve ever read. It’s simply beautiful.
What’s even more extraordinary is that it rings of reality, too. This isn’t a story about a sexy executive secretary and her billionaire boss finding their happily ever after. It isn’t the story of a tormented celebrity who gets stranded with the girl next door and falls deeply in love. It’s real romance, which isn’t at all about how many ways they can have sex.
Life is never simple. As Esperanza Ignacio pushes herself through her last semesters of college, she meets each challenge head on. She’s not a drama queen. There’s no unnecessary or aggravating angst. But there are enough twists and turns in this book and enough vibrant characters to keep you turning the pages. You want – you desperately want – to see a happy ending.
I’m not going to say anything about the hero in this story. I don’t want to give it away. But read this book. You’ll be so glad you did.
I’ll leave you with a quote that, incidentally, comes at the end of the book.
She is the flower that keeps on growing from a pot of dirt; and she will continue spreading her beautiful petals no matter how hard the rain pours down on her. She is strength and determination; she is everybody’s hope.
It’s just that beautiful. Don’t miss Beyond the Gardens.