In this bittersweet memoir that is equal parts funny and whimsical, we meet a family torn apart by cancer and drug addiction. There Are Fairies at the Bottom of Our Garden is named after a poem written by Judi Evans. Judi is known for her infectious laugh, sense of humor, and love of the natural world as written about in the journal entries and poetry that fill this book.
Judi’s daughters, Erin and Hayley, fill in the rest of the story, offering a tender take on their father, Mike Evans, who dovetails into the family drama as the ultimate tragic hero. Ever the intrepid adventurer and star crossed with his ex-wife, Judi, the couple is brought back to life through entries that cover everything from simple pleasures, like walking the dog, to Mike officiating his daughter’s wedding. Mike and Judi’s story leaves us gasping for air, and so will their grown children’s strive toward stability and sobriety. Hayley has a heroin addiction that frequently finds her homeless or in jail. Will she recover? Erin, the older sister, is the caregiver, managing a family in tatters, but finding deep and meaningful love along the way. Will she and her new husband be patient enough to see it all through? In back and forth journal entries penned by Judi and her daughters, we read about their journey, and it’s a romp through a garden of laughter and tears.
Though, we know Judi has terminal cancer at the start of the book, the way she faces it down – with a gentle humor and appreciation of each moment as a gift – makes this book the opposite of a long and looming goodbye.