I just finished reading The Tree Lady by Virginia J. Marangell.  I briefly met Mrs. Marangell when she did a book signing/sale at a craft fair in Hamden, CT at a local catholic school.  She is a self-publishing author who has written and published eight books, seven of which she published after she turned 75.

The story is about a group of people who live on the second floor of the Grandmoor, an apartment building that in its heyday was elegant and desirable, but now has descended into squalor and is in a bad section of town.  It takes place over less than a year, and shows how the lives of the residents change as they go from strangers to neighbors to friends.

The book was, for me, a mix.  The story was good, if a bit predictable, and kept me engaged.  It was a very quick read, taking me only a couple of days, which is fast considering I don’t get to read for pleasure as often as I would like.  The editing could have been better, and some of the writing was problematic, mainly in the dialogue of certain younger characters.  Still, the technical problems that did occur didn’t detract from the enjoyability of the story.

I gave my mother one of Mrs. Marangell’s other books, Gianna Mia, for Christmas.  This was her only professionally published book, but she has since regained publishing rights and self-published it too.  I haven’t had a chance to read that one yet, but after reading The Tree Lady I look forward to doing so.

All-in-all, I would say that this book is an enjoyable read.  The writing is a bit simplistic, but the idea is lovely, and I like the idea of supporting self-published writers.  I also have immense respect for a woman in her, by now, 80s who is still publishing and marketing her books in whatever way she is able.  I found that  inspirational.

To purchase a copy of this book, visit Amazon.