Book review: Gangs, faithful LDS families at odds in 'The Garden Path' by Anita Stansfield
In her latest novel, award-winning author Anita Stansfield returns readers to Los Angeles and the turbulent life of a reformed gang member turned member of the LDS Church.
The sequel to “The Wishing Garden,” this newest release, “The Garden Path,” reunites Stansfield’s readers with Whit and Mary and their extended family as the couple struggles to grow amidst intense turmoil.
Following an arrest and time spent in prison for his crimes as a member of a California gang, Whit Eden turned his life around. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and later fell in love with Mary and her daughter, Adrienne, eventually taking them to the temple to be sealed.
Unfortunately, Whit’s sordid past does not want to stay in the past.
In “The Garden Path,” Whit has finally been cleared of the murder charges leveled against him and he and Mary anxiously await the birth of their child. Having supported each other through a murder trial their love has become solid and sure.
While Mary recovers from unexpected complications after the delivery, Whit is again yanked into the world of gangs and crime when he receives a horrific phone call. Torn between feelings of obligation to the family from his past and his desire to protect his new wife and children, Whit is forced to face demons from a world he thought he had left.
Supported by his wife and strengthened by his Heavenly Father, Whit searches for truth and hopes for miracles that will wipe away the stains of his past.
Stansfield’s latest creation dabbles in the world of gang violence while staying rooted in the life of a faithful Mormon family. This book takes some interesting turns which may surprise readers, but is still coated with Stansfield’s trademark positive outlook.
Despite references to hostility and crime the book is appropriate for readers both young and old. Stansfield’s followers will gladly get lost in the pages of this newest read.
Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.
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