My Dear, You Are Smothering Me With Cherries, Ambushing Me With Andromedas, And Impaling Me On Ilex No Wonder The Purple Beech Is Weeping I M Sure It Is From Sheer Bewilderment Oh My Girl Of Little Patience, This Is Not The Way One Makes A Garden, Any Than One Makes A Painting By Squeezing Every Tube To Hand Onto Canvas I Shall Explain When I Come Holders Hope, Herefordshire The Roots Of A Great Garden Are Laid In The Long Summer Of The Edwardian Age Grown From A Woman S Desperate Need To Hold On To Beauty, Created By A Man Who Plants His Love For Her, Hated By A Husband It Humiliates And Imprisons The Garden Grows Around A Secret It Will Take Almost A Century To Solve.For Two Generations The Lives Of Two Families Are Bound Up With The Garden The Allegri Family, Mine Owners With The Money To Pay For It The Thomas Family, Mine Workers From The Welsh Valleys With Whose Care And Skill Help To Shape It Three Children An Unhappy Rich Girl, A Musician And A Boy Dreaming Of Revolution Meet In The Garden And Share A Secret That Will Affect The Rest Of Their Lives. Stand alone historical cosy mystery, written 2003 mysterious family saga, set in 1907, 1920, and present day rural England Love affairs gone bad, a glorious Edwardian garden gone to seed, and family secrets some buried, some living , including murder The initial setting and set up is plushly superb, the atmosphere intense and passionate, and several of the characters are appealing, but the victim is so vile, so obviously deserves to die horribly, that it doesn t really matter whodunit And the guilt and subsequent difficulties raised by the coverup don t at all ring true A bit pat and formulaic for Linscott, although sweetly enjoyable in spots The first two thirds is smoothly written and mostly entertaining, but the last third is dry and disappointing.It s unfortunate that, due to plot constraints, the character we most identify with, resonate to the creator of the garden leaves the story half way through As long as he s around the novel works , a beautifully florid story that flows by us like a sweet summer s day We believe in his garden, his love, and his life, his passion for them all When that s gone, the pretty setting ceases to mean much, the mildly disagreeable characters begin to grate, the plot machinations become obvious And when we discover, at the very end, that the least likable characters are responsible for the murder, it s anti climactic by then we don t much care what happens to them.Linscott s strength in her Nell Bray stories is that we really feel as t
Take the good bits of a sweeping family saga type book and a writer who mostly writes mysteries but isn t really writing a hard core mystery here, place them down in the bit of time that stretches before and after the great war with some things coming all the way down to the present day and you have a really good read.
If forced to decide I d probably say I prefer Linscott s Nell Bray ser
I really enjoyed this book Despite the title it isn t just about gardening The garden sets the scene and is the thread that runs through the story, which progresses from 1907 to 2001, via pre war Herefordshire, WW1, the anger of the post war pit lockouts in the Rhondda and the struggle of the miners for decent wages In between there is love, sorrow, passion and hatred The early parts where the garden is being created I found fascinating, seeing how the planting was laid out to create illusions and effects I might try some ideas on a much smaller scale in my own jungle, sorry, garden The politics of the pit lockouts, as the mines were returned to private ownership after wartime government control, show the depths of hardship faced by the colliers, seeing armed soldiers at the pit gates, hearing the Riot Act read as they try to prevent the use of blackleg labour, fighting for their jobs and their families futures Who would have thought that similar scenes would recur in the 1980s My only criticism of the book, and it s why it s only getting a 4 star not a 5 star rating, is the number of silly mistakes throughout the book, e.g countless instances of bur instead of but the letter r seems especially problematical as it appears in many places where there should be the letter t , th
Stopped reading after a few chapters Not interested in the storyline. A novel set in two time periods In the present, a gardener discovers a ruined large garden in Herefordshire and starts clearing it He discovers human remains In the early 20th century, a woman who owns coal mines in the Rhondda and is locked into an unhappy marriage has the garden created Gradually the passionate, tragic past unfolds, against a backdrop of miners unrest and the First WorlA novel set in two time periods In the present, a gardener discovers a ruined large garden in Herefordshire and starts clearing it He discovers human remains In the early 20th century, a woman who owns coal mines in the Rhondda and is locked into a unhappy marriage has the garden created Gradually the passionate, tragic past unfolds, against a backdrop of miners unrest and the First World War In the first part of the novel there is much dwelling on the details of the flowers planted in the garden, giving a sensuous atmosphere which matches the emotions of the main characters emotions which are largely undescribed, the garden being their expression I greatly enjoyed the novel, and have given it four rather than five stars only because I anticipated the twist at the end long before it came.d War In the first part of the novel there is much dwelling on the details of the flowers planted in the garden, giving a sensuous atmosphere which matches the emotions of the main characters emotions which
My kind of book, interesting characters set in a historical time It takes place during the first world war in Wales It was a time when girls began to bob their hair and raise their skirts and the poor people began to rise up against the aristocracy and demand equality The building of the garden makes me wonder if there was that sort of intrigue when Butchart Garden or the gardens at Huntington Library were being built I used to so love exploring the gardens at Huntington Library and imagining how they came to be The only thing that was a bother was that the transition from the past to present day was unclear for a bit I couldn t for
I loved this book, its quite a sad tale in many ways, with complex characters and many twists and turns The garden itself is wonderful and the author obviously has a great love of plants and gardens It comes alive in her descriptions, so much so that you start to visualise it in your mind, especially round the pond with its water lilies and dark secret.The hist
You need to be a gardener to really appreciate this book but if was it was also an interesting mystery and I do enjoy her books. Historical mystery surrounding a neglected garden Reminiscent of Kate Morton s The Forgotten Garden but with gardening Moving story as well as puzzling Beautiful descriptions of the garden.