Archive | April 18, 2019

The Garden of Lost and Found – Harriet Evans

Back of the book :

Nightingale House, 1919. Liddy Horner discovers her husband, the world-famous artist Sir Edward Horner, burning his best-known painting The Garden of Lost and Found days before his sudden death.
Nightingale House was the Horner family’s beloved home – a gem of design created to inspire happiness – and it was here Ned painted TheGarden of Lost and Found, capturing his children on a perfect day, playing in the rambling Eden he and Liddy made for them.
One magical moment. Before it all came tumbling down…
When Ned and Liddy’s great-granddaughter Juliet is sent the key to Nightingale House, she opens the door onto a forgotten world. The house holds its mysteries close but she is in search of answers. For who would choose to destroy what they love most? Whether Ned’s masterpiece – or, in Juliet’s case, her own children’s happiness.
Something shattered this corner of paradise. But what?

What I think :

1919.

When Liddy finds her painter husband Ned burning his most famous painting in his studio at Nightingale House, the family home, she doesn’t quite know what to do … Then a few days later her husband is dead and all it seems is gone …

Now.

Juliet is Liddy’s great-granddaughter, her life is pretty awful right about now. Her 3 children seem troubled, especially her teenage daughter. And her husband is probably having an affair. And then her job at the auction house is terminated. So when she receives a letter from her great-grandmother (who incidentally has been dead for around 15 years) telling her that she now owns Nightingale House it seems heaven sent. Before long she has left her husband and packed her and the children up and gone to Nightingale House where she spent many happy times in the holidays as a child growing up. It’s whilst she there that she discovers secrets from the past That could shape her future ….

I always absolutely adore Harriet’s books, so when I received a review copy of this one a few months ago, after doing a squeal and a happy dance around the room I placed it on my ever growing TBR. Every now and then I would eye it up willing April to come around quicker so I could read this beauty.

Let me tell you that I wasn’t disappointed, this book was everything and more that you would expect from this brilliant author. An excellently epic story of love, loss and family. It’s expertly set on two time lines, now (Juliet) and late 1800’s – early 1900’s (Liddy) It tells a complex story of family secrets that the family were hoping never to be told. With a host of brilliant characters that seem to become real, it makes up a brilliant twisty story that draws you in right from the first page to the last.

Talking of the last page, this is one long tale of 554 pages ! (My copy was an arc so I’m not sure if the published copy will have the same number of pages) But absolutely worth it because its brilliant !

Go out and buy this excellent book now !

I give this gorgeous tale 10/10.

Published by Headline Review on 18/04/19.

A big thank you to Becky Hunter at Headline for the review copy of the book in return for a honest review.

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When Liddy was a child, always afraid,

She had dreamed of her own home, hidden away where no-one could find her.

Where she could be safe.

Then Ned had brought her here and for a few years everything had been perfect.

Utterly perfect.

As summer soared into the garden and then faded away again, the silken light of golden September giving itself to the mist and damp of autumn and the darkness of winter, the question that had haunted Liddy kept coming back to her.

Do you pay for happiness like that ?

Perhaps, yes, perhaps you do ….