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Tree of Lives is a novel I wrote at the age of 60, during a year of chemo treatments for breast cancer. The book is illustrated with my artwork that spanned my career, from informal sketches to recent work. Some are from when I was a newspaper illustrator in the ’80s.

Tree of Lives, an extraordinary novel
Written under a pen name and illustrated by Barbara Bose

My award winning illustrated novel, TREE OF LIVES (by Elizabeth Garden, a pen name), follows the story of my life and art career as reflected in the experiences of a character named Ruth. As a budding artist, Ruth struggles under the weight of a fallen branch of her family tree, in the form of a secret tragedy that she certainly felt but knew nothing about. Only after she excavates the real truth does her life fully blossom.

The guiding light of Tree of Lives is that while we are so often our own worst enemy, we can also be our own best friend. I believe we each hold the power to access our Higher Self to design a better life for ourselves, though it is not always easy as Ruth’s rocky path will show you. But the ability to create art really helped. Tree of Lives has helped many other adult victims of childhood abuse and hidden trauma.

TREE OF LIVES is the Gold medal winner of the Presidents Book Award from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association for Women’s Fiction, the eLit Bronze Award for Literary Fiction, and a finalist for the American Book Fest International Book Award, the American Book Fest American Fiction Award and the Page Turner Awards Ebook Awards.

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EXERPT from Tree of Lives
Four year old Ruthie returned to her room to finish an art project she had been working on for days. She had painstakingly drawn a tree, including every leaf that could fit on the paper. When she felt it was finished she ran into the kitchen, eager to show her mother her masterpiece.
“Mom. Look! Look what I drew! How do you like it?”
Her mother, on the phone, sounded slightly annoyed to be interrupted by Ruthie’s pestering.
“Hold on, Caroline.” Glancing over her shoulder for a split second, she said, “That’s nice, dear” and seamlessly resumed her chat.
Ruthie returned to her room a little crestfallen, having just learned two important lessons: Not Everyone Understands Art and Timing Is Everything.