Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars
A marriage of convenience leads to a life of passion and purpose. A shared vision transforms the American landscape forever.
New York, 1858: Mary, a young widow with three children, agrees to marry her brother-in-law Frederick Law Olmsted, who is acting on his late brother’s deathbed plea to “not let Mary suffer.” But she craves more than a marriage of convenience and sets out to win her husband’s love. Beginning with Central Park in New York City, Mary joins Fred on his quest to create a ‘beating green heart’ in the center of every urban space.
Over the next 40 years, Fred is inspired to create dozens of city parks, private estates and public spaces with Mary at his side. Based upon real people and true events, this is the story of Mary’s journey and personal growth and the challenges inherent in loving a brilliant and ambitious man.
Fredrick Law Olmstead is arguably the most famous and well-known landscape artist in the world. During his lifetime he was sought after around the world for his talented approach to landscape design. Central Park in New York City and the design of the Worlds Fair and Exposition in Chicago in the late 1800’s is among many shining examples of his work.
This author has scraped away the accolades and achievements and made the artist into a more personal figure. His wife Mary and he had many decades of a happy marriage despite the loss of a number of offspring. Mary was the linch-pin which held together his myriad of accomplishments. She led the family through many heartbreaking episodes and was often a sounding board for family events.
Looking at the accomplishments of the Olmstead clan, tragedies often clouded and overshadowed the triumphs. Losing a daughter and three sons is a tragic example of the challenges faced by the family. One in particular is Charlotte who lost her way as an adult and spent most of her life in an asylum. Mary kept her wits and steered the family through all the heartbreaks.
The author illuminated the importance of a strong matriarch in this family enterprise. Mary made lifelong friends who helped her through the darkest of days when children were lost and the future looked the darkest. Mr. Olmsted helped to develop and enhance some of the nations most prized national parks including Yosemite. This particular chapter is very endearing.
The end result is a very endearing tale of a family with vision and purpose. Fredrick Law Olmstead and his sons and daughter helped to leave a family legacy of unparalleled significance. Anyone who visits the national parks and many city and/or regional parks owe the majesty and authenticity of the landscape to the tenacity of this family. Read this book and enjoy the enlightening adventure. 5 stars – CE Williams
We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.
Genre: Biographical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Print Length: 315 pages
Publication Date: July 29, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Landscape of a Marriage [Amazon]
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The Author: [Gail Ward Olmsted] I enjoy writing about quirky, lovable women in search of their happy ever after! My newest title- Landscape of a Marriage, is historical fiction. It’s the story of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted told through the eyes of Mary, his wife of 44 years. Watch for it this summer!
A hopeless romantic, I am married to the love of my life. My favorite role is that of mom to two young adults and I enjoy reading, boating, knitting, music and traveling.
©2021 V Williams