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Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Garden Club Gang, by Neal Sanders

The Garden Club Gang is the book that introduces us to the group of women "of a certain age" who decide that it is time for some excitement in their lives. Neal Sanders is the author who has created the community of Hardington, Massachusetts; a town where, as in many like it, the haves and the have-nots show a mutual dedication to their town's curbside appeal. They are all members of the Hardington Garden Club.

The four women live differently despite the homogeneity of small town life. Some have money, some have not. Some have or have had children, and others not. But for reasons as uniquely different than each other's, all believe it is time to take a risk ... bigger than any risk life has thus far required of them.

They are friends committed to helping each other realize this shared goal. They decide that they are "invisible" to society, and so have an advantage. They plan a heist.

Not a simple shoplifting tour ... nor a local grocery (heaven forbid!) They choose to target an armed truck picking up the receipts at the County Fair. It will not hurt the fair, they reason, for the money will have been handed over to the trucking company. The robbery will not hurt the trucking company because it will have insurance. The daring risk will not hurt the insurance company because it will simply pass on the cost to the policy holders via an increase in premiums. It will pinch the many policy holders but in a very small way, and it will fulfill the "Garden Club Gang's" need to plan, orchestrate and execute, without being caught, the risk that now sits at the top of all of their bucket lists.

As in his later books, Neal Sanders sketches out his characters with careful detail, leaving enough for the reader to color in with their own reactions to each one. His invented town of Hardington is the setting for at least two more of Sanders' books, and I've put a link below to my reviews of those titles.

Enjoy this read, and imagine yourself having the gumption, the guts and the generational confidence to carry it out~ but be careful what you wish for~ you may be as surprised as these ladies are!

Here are links to my reviews of other books by Neal Sanders:

Murder in the Garden Club (set in Hardington)
Murder for a Worthy Cause (set in Hardington)
Deal Killer