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Book Review of "The Green House", by Dan Lawton

The Green House by Dan Lawton is a novella that chronicles the life of Girard Remington, an elderly Mathematics professor struggling with his guilt from his feeling of responsibility for an accident that took the life of someone dear to him. The story, told in the third person, recounts a transformative event that happened to Girard, which shattered his everyday regimen and became the catalyst that brought clarity and reconciliation to his life.

Girard Remington had built a fabulous Greenhouse and became a dedicated gardener. The greenhouse and its beautiful flowers provided him solace from the mental issues he struggled with.  It became his refuge whenever he felt overwrought from the deadly event that made him feel emotionally empty. It was a place of beauty and quiet that soothe the everlasting guilt that ate at him for what he had allowed to happen many years before. An event that led to a death and also the alienation of his daughter, Stacey. It was his love of alcohol that precipitated the deadly event. 

Now suddenly, his wife, Miriam, disappears, breaking the repetitive daily regimen that he had accepted as his life. He leaves his greenhouse to join her for their late morning coffee, but she is nowhere to be found. To make things worse, he discovers his Buick is also missing. A day later, the police discover the Buick and a burnt body of a woman in it.  Now he has a second tragedy to struggle with.

Miriam's disappearance triggers suicidal thoughts in Girard's mind. The episodes weight heavy on him, and the greenhouse and its serenity become his savior in preventing him from following through with his death wish. His missing wife and the emergence of his alcoholic daughter adds more fuel to his depression, and it's the greenhouse that isolates him from the crushing pressures his new reality creates.

The Green House is a visual, visceral reminder that we can survive anything if we choose to. It is a profound read that reminds us that there are ways that individuals can use to help deal with their loss.

Lawton gives an extremely honest and poignant account of dealing with grief, guilt, and death. What gives people the will to live? What gives life meaning?

If you're in pain, read this book. If you're scared, read this book. If you are lost, read this book. If you are happy, read this book. It is an amazing life-changing story, well-written and thought-provoking. Dan Lawton’s The Green House is a must-read. 


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