Lemons Reviews

“Sheldon’s evocative prose and compelling sense of the sweep of history grabs attention from page one. Lemons in the Garden of Love is a moving portrait of the struggles and successes of first- and second-wave feminism.”
Booklife Reviews 

Compelling … full of verve and determination. Lemons in the Garden of Love is a rich historical novel that examines the slow acknowledgement of women’s rights.”
Foreword Reviews 

“Ames Sheldon’s beautiful novel brings us on a journey with characters that come alive on the page, reminding us how far we’ve come in our fight for equality and reproductive health in this country.  It’s easy to forget what life was like for women before birth control was readily accessible and Sheldon’s engaging writing is an important reminder of what’s at stake today, when we find ourselves facing the potential loss of many of these rights.  It’s a wonderful tribute to the struggles and fights of our foremothers, to whom we owe so much.”
Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood North Central States

“Ames Sheldon’s novel, Lemons in the Garden of Love, weaves the stories of several generations of women in one family, using a deeply researched diary from the early 20th century and a crisis point in the life of her main character six decades later. Sheldon deftly juxtaposes the experiences of middle-class women around marriage, childbearing, professional opportunities, and reproductive rights.  Readers will be caught up in Cassie’s story, her hard decisions … and come away with a much deeper understanding of the depths and the human costs of the long struggle for reproductive rights and its centrality to the unfinished fight for gender equality.”
Sara M. Evans, Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America

“A thoughtful exploration of the complexities of reproductive freedom ... Ames Sheldon’s characters draw you in as Cassie and her great-grandaunt Kate each navigate their own journeys. An interesting and compelling tale ... A great read.”
Jennifer Childs-Roshak, MD, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

“Weaving the history of her own family and original sources with a rich fictional cast of characters and plot, Ames Sheldon’s third novel Lemons in the Garden of Love demonstrates Sheldon’s consummate skill at bringing history to life in an engaging story. Through the diaries of an early 20th century suffragist aunt, protagonist Cassie Lyman bolsters her own pursuit of autonomy as a woman, a spouse, a family member, and an historian in the late 1970s. She discovers that self-determination is not easily come by in the face of family and societal expectations and conflicting messages. An extra added attraction is Sheldon’s wonderfully evocative descriptions of the Massachusetts Cape Ann coast and its seasonal life. In the midst of current battles around reproductive rights, voting rights, and redefinition of family structures, Lemons in the Garden of Love is a relevant and compelling novel for fans of historical and women’s fiction.”
Barbara Stark-Nemon, Even in Darkness and Hard Cider

“In Lemons in the Garden of Love Ames Sheldon offers an important accounting of women’s rights, primarily reproductive rights, over the course of the 20th century. The novel illustrates the parallels between the lives of a young graduate student in women studies and a pioneering suffragist who happens to be her great-grandaunt. This novel is sure to please fans of historical fiction and strong, intelligent female protagonists. A multi-generational examination of an old Yankee clan, Lemons is a keen portrayal of women who, despite being born into privileged circumstances, struggle to shape their own lives.”
Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg, Eden and The Nine