Winter Bloom by Tara Heavey.*
Eva Madigan, a young single mother, has moved to Dublin with her son Liam to start life anew. Eva chose Dublin because she used to visit her grandmother there as a child.
While in a gourmet shop one day, the shopkeeper mentions that the elderly woman ahead of Eva in line is rumoured to have murdered her husband. A few days later, Eva saves Mrs. Prendergast, from a purse-snatcher, and as the older woman seems a little shaken, Eva insists that she and Liam walk her home. As they are leaving, Eva stops to look at Mrs. Prendergast's walled back garden, which is huge and badly in need of care. Although the woman was curiously ungrateful and brusque, Eva stops by a few days later to check on her anyway.
One of her reasons for stopping by is to ask if she can help Mrs. Prendergast with the garden, which is obviously too much for her. Eventually, the old woman agrees, and Eva puts up a notice in the grocery store for volunteers to help her.
There are only two responses, a retired tailor named Uri and a university student named Emily. Like Eva, they are trying to get over something from their past, and we slowly learn all their stories.
I discovered Heavey when I was in Ireland a few years ago, and picked up Making It Up as I Go Along on a whim. It was well-written and absorbing, so when I saw the e-galley of Winter Bloom I snapped it up. It's also well-written, and absorbed me for the duration of a long airplane trip.
*Downloaded in e-galley form from publisher's website.