Self-Published Book Review: “My Backyard Garden”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

my backyard garden by debra hester

2016 reader views reviewers choice award

My Backyard Garden

by Debra Hester

ISBN: 9781478757375



Has someone that you love died unexpectedly? Is the pain hard to bear? It was for Debra Hester, so she makes no apologies for the emotions that are expressed in her memoir, My Backyard Garden. If the emotions seem too much, they are more and maybe even more than you can feel right now or imagine that you or someone you know is going through. Debra Hester was standing at the base of a huge mountain that seemed to emerge out of nowhere after her mother’s death. If you’re at this place, or know of someone who is, her hope is that My Backyard Garden will give you and them hope and insights into the journey ahead. This memoir of how love conquers grief chronicles the days leading up to her mother’s death, the wisdom her mother left behind, the insights she gained at the very end of her mother’s life on this side and the journey of memories that surface for a fight against her deep seated fears, anger and grief. Come to her backyard garden with its natural beauty, its captivating yet calming and healing properties. Come sit with her and share a garden view of a journey we all will take. In My Backyard Garden, a memoir of how love conquers grief her heart goes out to you. She wants everyone who is grieving to not take their feelings lightly or the feelings of others who are going through this season of grief. She shows how real feelings of grief run deep, regardless of what you show or see on the outside. Grief is real and she hopes reading about her journey with her loved ones allows us all to mourn, to reflect and to recover at our own pace and recognize when we have arrived at a better place.

 * courtesy of

Featured Review

“My Backyard Garden” by Debra Hester is a love story, though not in the traditional sense of the lover’s relationship. Rather, it is the love story of a daughter as she moves through the grief of losing her beloved mother.

This memoir is unique in the manner in which it is written. The author comes to a realization that though grief occurs as a natural part of life, it exists, or seems to exist on another level within our world as an unknown, until it is experienced at a relational level. Thus, she intentionally uses relational names rather than the actual names of her family members, for example, from page 18: “So somewhere after my arrival to ICU and the discussions with Sister, Brother and the doctors, I knew the time was approaching to offer Daughters an opportunity to fly to Phoenix from Baltimore to see their grandmother.” By offering the relational status of a family member it allows the reader to identify on a different level, perhaps even substituting the names of their own family members and personalizing the experience. For me this style was awkward at first because rather than connecting with the people involved, I felt a bit separated and distanced. As I continued reading however, it became more natural and I was able to focus more keenly on the message itself.

Hester relates the days leading up to her mother’s death, through her peaceful transition, and the months following, sharing her raw emotions without apology. It is through the depths of her emotions that she hopes she will encourage people to allow themselves the grieving process in order to get to a place of healing.

A short 50-page memoir, readers might imagine they will sail through the text in one sitting, but I recommend reading it slowly and taking the time to welcome and contemplate the insight Hester offers throughout her journey.  The beautiful tribute to her mother will stir up memories, giving reason to pause and appreciate your relationship with your own mother.

Hester’s profound love for her mother shines through the pages. One of my favorite passages is a quote by her mother which seems to clearly depict who she was as a person, “If a task has once begun, never finish till it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.” (p.48).

I recommend “My Backyard Garden” by Debra Hester to anyone that has lost their mother or other loved one and is looking for strength, wisdom and guidance.

– reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views

Other Reviews

Her style of writing with brought me along the journey with her.

– reviewed on Amazon by CLVDan

5.0 out of 5 starsFinally, a book and an Author that just gets it 🙌❤🙏
It was interesting to see how another successfully found their own path back to love and long-term peace after experiencing one of the most painful losses in life.
This book not only understood my pain and grieving process but it connected to what I was actually feeling that I didn’t know how to articulate into words.
It was unfamiliar at first but then I found myself in a safe place to accept the present. Then, I was inspired to begin/continue down my own path to healing, (not merely living) but thriving for my lossed loved one, and gaining the strength I needed to live in peace.

Let’s just say, I’m glad I read this book because I believe this particular perspective on what we will all eventually face, is truly beautiful. And to me, that’s all true beauty is… peace + healing.

– reviewed on Amazon by Mari Clifton


tuesday book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s