The Last Garden in England

The Last Garden in England

Book - 2021 | First Gallery Books hardcover edition
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"From the author of The Light Over London and The Whispers of War comes a poignant and heartwrenching tale of five women in three eras, whose lives are tied together by one very special garden"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Gallery Books,, 2021
Edition: First Gallery Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781982107826
Branch Call Number: F KEL
Characteristics: 354 pages ; 24 cm

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KBaxter301
Mar 04, 2021

This was a beautifully rendered historical fiction read where a magnificent garden unified the story across three separate time periods. The garden tightly held precious secrets of several women over the course of a hundred years plus. There's the garden designer of 1907, the women of the estate during World War II and the woman hired in 2021 to revive the historical gem of a garden. Author Julia Kelly has developed well the characters across the breadth of the story. The garden, itself, is a fully developed character providing the thread tying the three stories together. Its variety of garden "rooms" and plant varieties is rich in the telling. The descriptive prose is equally rich and atmospheric. The story holds an element of mystery in its well held secrets which are not revealed until the stories draw to their satisfying conclusions. All in all, this was an uplifting and enjoyable read.

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BeckyR21
Feb 26, 2021

An enjoyable read. I like a book with multiple timelines, and Julia Kelly does a good job creating interesting characters in each timeline that nicely come together to solve a few mysteries in the end. I have one lingering question that either was not answered, or I missed it... Henry James' nan is mentioned, but - who is his grandfather?

debwalker Jan 28, 2021

When a garden defines generations of women's lives.

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brangwinn
Jan 12, 2021

Spanning from the years from 1907 to 2021, this is the story of the gardens of Highbury house. Focusing on three women, it begins with Venetia Smith who designed the gardens. The second story is set during World War II and the story of three women is told. Diana Symonds is the war widow who owns the stately home and oversees the transformation of it into a military hospital. Beth Pedley is a land girl sent to help on a neighboring farm and Stella Adderton, the cook, is guardian of her 5-year-old nephew. In 2021, Emma Lovett is hired to restore the gardens. Kelly did an excellent job of weaving all three stories together while giving us a glimpse of the history of the estate. Readers will be satisfied with the culmination of all three stories. Combining strong female characters, mystery and romance, there is something for all readers.

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darladoodles
Dec 30, 2020

It happened again. I am on my elliptical multi-tasking cardio with reading. At about 83% I was weeping. Julia Kelly, you have a winner. Why have I waited so long to pick up one of your books? There are two others on my TBR list. I have been missing out. This is such a wonderful tapestry with threads from three timelines and all based on a garden. Not just any garden, though. This grand garden is a masterpiece conceived in 1907 by Venetia Smith -- don't you just love that name? The plans included enclosed spaces that represent the wife of a woman beginning with a Tea Garden, then a Bride's Garden, a Children's Garden, etc. And that Winter Garden -- what an evocative place it is. I can just see it. At first the locked door made me think of the evil garden in Ruth Ware's 'The Turn of the Key,' but this one more of a spiritual refuge and very key to the plot. This was such a lovely book to pick up in the dead of winter with sleet and freezing rain flying outside my windows. If you love Kate Morton, Susan Meissner, and Kristin Hannah this book is for you.

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