Lebanon, New Jersey (PressExposure) June 13, 2013 -- Frogworks Publishing announces the publication of Master Gardener by Tewksbury, New Jersey, author, Rolf Margenau. This book is subtitled: a novel about gardening, magic seeds, eco-terrorism, politics, big business, love and Wylie Cypher.
In this book, the author revisits the hero of Public Information, his novel about the Korean War and its aftermath, who is now a seventy-five year old retired lawyer and Master Gardener. Wylie misses the excitement of earlier legal involvements and eagerly comes to the aid of Ann Proctor, another Master Gardener, who came upon magic seeds on a visit to the Amazon. Their fantastic properties come to the attention of Big Ag whose CEO, Dick Geier, understands they represent a serious threat to the profitable seeds genetically engineered by Big Ag to resist the effects of plant-killing chemicals.
Big Ag determines to crush the development of the magic seeds, at the same time sending the Department of Homeland Security after a band of eco-terrorists who seek to save the monarch butterfly. Millions of acres of the butterflies' main sustenance, milkweed, have been destroyed by the application of glyphosate, Big Ag's plant-killing chemical. The group manages to achieve its objective in spite of numerous roadblocks.
The author explains, "I had but a hazy awareness of genetic engineering in agriculture until the second month of instruction in Rutgers' Master Gardener program. Then a lecturer explained the basics of genetically engineered plants. I did some research and recognized the process offered serious challenges to our environment. In one of those inexplicable and dangerous brain fevers that afflict writers, it came to me that I could write a story about my Wylie Cypher character, now much older and retired, who becomes a Master Gardener. The story could act as a sounding board for many of the issues I had been studying. Since it would be fiction, I could avoid taking a stand and getting myself in trouble."
Sections of the book are set in the Amazon jungles of Peru. Margenau says, "I couldn't imagine a better place to produce magic seeds. And the splendor and lushness of the jungle offer a fine contrast to the cold winter in New Anglia that Wylie and Ann leave to solve the mystery of the seeds."
Samples of early reviews:
*Margenau has a refreshing approach to start each chapter. Chapters begin with a gardening advice column written by one of the central characters, Bitsy. Not only is this a welcome change from the current trend to begin chapters with a quote or poem, but it is also a unique way to incorporate practical gardening tips into the book. "Master Gardener" has a story, a character, or a cause for everyone.
*I enjoyed this book. It is not often I have a good time learning about serious threats to our environment as well as the best way to take care of my garden.
*This is a great read. It made a rainy weekend a pleasure and I learned an awful lot.
By sheer coincidence, Margenau is a retired attorney who has become a Master Gardener.
Author: Rolf Margenau
Publisher: Frogworks Publishing
Published: March 2013
Available in paperback ($23.95) and eBook ($2.95).