Betty's Little Basement Garden. Laurel Dewey. Publisher: The Story Plant. June 2012. 450 Pages. ISBN #: 9781611880380.
Betty is a very unhappy lady. Losing her son three years ago and her husband more recently, she's overwhelmed with grief and financial debt. Little by little, she is selling off parts of her home furniture and other items. But the picture she presents to her ultra-conservative, opinionated friends is one of strength, agreement, and perfection. Something is rotten in Denmark, indeed as a famous bard once wrote.
Her marriage was actually a disaster and her son died of an overdose of drugs, providing memories and nightmares that she attempts to evade by several strong, daily nightcaps! But Betty's world is about to turn upside down, all beginning with a friend's campaign to stop the selling of legal marijuana and the production of medicinal marijuana plants in the neighborhood. Betty can't stand the carping and rigid, stereotypical stuff she hears, especially since it nudges her memories of her son's initial start with drugs. However, never one to be the rebel, she reluctantly and incorrectly signs her name to a petition to stop the spread of marijuana in any legal shape, size, or form.
Soon however, after finally going to the doctor for some severe neck pain, she meets a man named Peyton who actually works at a local health food store and is licensed as a medical caregiver who gives patients marijuana or "herb" as he insists on calling it to patients who are sick or dying. When she sees the results on a dying woman in person, a part of her more truthful side has to admit there is a better way.
So begins this long tale of Betty's foray into dosing home-made chocolates with the "herb" and then beginning to produce her own plants, forms of this new "medication," and obtaining her own license as a medical caregiver. Some funny moments follow with a date her old friends talk her into taking and her reactions to both the date and them after the date, as well as little by little letting go of restricted and uptight exterior she's been living. Readers can decide how much is educational, how much is a bit much, and how much of this information is real. It certainly appears to be well-researched and one about which the general public knows little. The experiments in producing the products are sometimes funny, sometimes more anti-cause than even the author expects, but the end of the story, as well a a growing romance with another character is quite pleasing and unique. Interestingly done, Ms. Dewey!