The first pre-publication review for Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs is in, from Kirkus Reviews. And... drum roll please...
"Wife, mother of five and a winsome reporter on people old and young, including dear friends, stalwart citizens and brave neighbors. Lende provides pointed thoughts on mortality, occasioned only partly by the death of a parent (the book’s title was her mother’s valedictory); touches of Tlingit native philosophy; and reflections on the blessing of the fleet and the erection of a modern totem pole in Haines. The author loves her Alaskan home, where she can see soaring eagles, bears and other natural wonders, and her cozy whimsy is refreshing, as when she discusses her fondness for her chickens. “I know chickens are not the most intelligent of creatures,” she writes, “but my hens have been raised to believe the world is good and that they are loved."
"Amiable in Alaska and slightly left of center, projecting the warmth of a well-made campfire."
My editor at Algonquin says it's great because Kirkus is known for being tough on authors. (The totem pole raising was Sitka, so they may not be careful readers.) Kirkus almost folded recently but have been revived, here is an article on them, noting their demise.. turns out reports of the magazine's death were greatly exaggerated.