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Gardens Of Delight [Paperback]

Erica James
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
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Gardens Of Delight Gardens Of Delight 4.4 out of 5 stars (44)
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Book Description

17 May 2006

The Gardens of Delight brochure promises the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful and enchanting gardens in the Lake Como area of Italy.

For Lucy, the chance to go to Italy offers more than just gardens. Lake Como is where her father lives and the last time she saw him was when she was just a teenager.

Recently married Helen and her wealthy husband have just moved into the Old Rectory. With her husband spending so much time away from home, Helen throws herself into caring for the garden that was the pride and joy of its previous owner. But Helen needs help - and friends - and so decides to take the plunge and join the local Garden Club.

Conrad isn't the least bit interested in gardening. Widowed for five years, his life revolves around work and humouring Mac, his curmudgeonly elderly uncle who lives with him, and who has expressed a desire to go on the Gardens of Delight tour. But only if Conrad will accompany him. Reluctantly, Conrad agrees. 'Anything for a peaceful life,' he concedes.

But a peaceful life is the last thing any of them are in for...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New edition edition (17 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752877607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752877600
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 899,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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More About the Author

With an insatiable appetite for other people's business, Erica James will readily strike up conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown-up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion.

The author of thirteen bestselling novels, including Gardens of Delight which won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, and her recent Sunday Times top ten bestseller, It's the Little Things, Erica now divides her time between Cheshire and Lake Como in Italy, where she now strikes up conversation with unsuspecting Italians.

Product Description


A skilful writer possessed of great sympathy and humour.. this moving tale will not disappoint. (GOOD BOOK GUIDE, 1 Mar)

Book Description

A gorgeous, heart-warming tale set among the gardens of Italy from bestselling Erica James.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed. Reviews shown are from other formats of this item.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For me, this is like comfort food 19 Oct 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A good book should be relaxing, escapist, maybe instruct the reader in some way, or inspire them. The characters should be well-drawn and believable, there should be a strong sense of place, it should move along well, with dialogue that doesn't jar.
Well, all this and more can be found in the pages of the latest by Erica James, 'Gardens of Delight'.
'Gardens of Delight' is a holiday, a tour of some of Italy's finest gardens in the Lake Como area, and the descriptions of the gardens, the views across the Lake, brought it to life in mind pictures for me, thanks to Ms James descriptive powers and use of language.
And who goes on this holiday? Well, it's a group of characters, members of a village Gardening Club, a mix of both sexes and a wide age range. There is the poor little rich girl Savannah, typical moody teenager that she is, loud-mouthed and often foul of temper, but equally capable of getting her own way by being soft and gentle, just like her Daddy thinks she is all the time. And at the other end of the age scale is Mac, a genial old gent with a secret he's kept most of his adult life, who can also be a bit of a grouch, but lovable too. Genuinely lovable that is, not play acting. In between there's Helen, the poor woman who is Savannah's step-mother, for whom the trip brings home a few home truths; Lucy who has an ulterior motive for going on the trip to Italy but isn't sure she's ready to face this particular demon; and there's Conrad and Orlando, one in love with Lucy and one in love with Helen.
Interwoven throughout the story are relationships that are tested to the limit on this trip, as well as past grievances faced up to and aired, doubts also. Some of the relationships founder, while new ones are forged.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comfort food for your mind.... 11 Jan 2013
By Kath
Format:Kindle Edition
Not her best but a very good book, like comfort food for your mind her writng style of romance and humour from the first page will have you glued to the book
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read 11 Sep 2010
By Penny
I get tired of reading books with their never ending violence - there are too many of them for my liking but for people who enjoy them that is their prerogative. A good thriller is one thing, but something which gives you nightmares is, for me, another.

Erica James writes good books (what I would call a gentle read) and I've read three now and enjoyed them all. I don't find them predictable at all, in fact the outcome in this book, for some characters, was a complete surprise, and her knowledge of Italy - with her discriptions of the surrounding scenery, the history of that country and the Italian language makes you feel as if you are there, or have been. In fact a friend of mine has been on a Gardens Tour to this village, Bellagio, and she said the gardens at Villa Carlotta were magnificent and she stayed at this wonderful hotel called Serbelloni where a lunch party was held in the book. I did wonder whether some of the hotels, gardens etc were not all factual, but this proves they are.

I do wish though that some other Reviewers wouldn't go into so much detail about the characters and what is happening to them. The reader wants to discover this themselves when they open the book. I find it very off-putting to know so much of what is happening to them in advance.

I recommend you give her books a go if you've not read one. They may not be your cup of tea, but you might have just discovered an author whom you really enjoy and want to continue to read.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT TIL THE END! 19 Jan 2006
Words can not say how important it is to have a book to come home to after a long, tough day.....this book is wonderful. It offers the reader warmth with its eccentric characters and a wonderful escape to the beautiful Italian Lakes. I thoroughly recommend this to everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 23 Mar 2013
By Sprat
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think this is one of Erica James' best novels. It combines an interest in gardening and travel - I've never been to Italy, but reading this made me feel as though i was truly there.
the characters are brilliant, and Erica covers topic of reuniting father and daughter so cleverly and with great sensitivity.
I have read every one of Erica James' books and there are many that I could read over and over again, and this is one of them. If you haven't read this amazing authors books, then I suggest it is time you did!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Manxie
What a lovely, easy read! I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. She weaves her believable charcters with such ease. I'm looking forward to her next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty characters, pretty predictable 24 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm afraid I felt I had to write a review of this book to provide some more balance to the gushing opinions already expressed. Two of the characters introduced in the early part of the book are called Marcus Gray and Charles Carrington... I think that says a great deal. Everyone in this story is impossibly good looking and simmering with unrequited love for someone equally gorgeous and wholesome. The baddie is a multi-millionaire businessman called Hunter. They all love gardens.... Arggghhhh!!!! and we haven't even met the Italian stallion Alessio who's a concert pianist who nearly died yet.... Having said that this really is the literary equivalent of comfort food and I gorged myself on it on holiday. The descriptions of the gardens and of Lake Como are wonderful and it's difficult to seriously knock something so pleasant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A really lovely book.
Published 7 days ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
I really enjoyed this book, and had a job to put it down. All the characters were really interesting and the whole story was engaging. I cannot recommend it too highly.
Published 19 days ago by Janet B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Just lovely
I don't often write reviews but I believe this book deserves one.
Quite possibly one of my favourite books. Read more
Published 1 month ago by FRow
5.0 out of 5 stars Read and enjoy
Very good. Requires a bit of concentration but very good for either taking to bed or reading when you have the time - just what I like.
Published 1 month ago by Margaret Dalton
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
A huge cast of people, multiple viewpoints, and very little depth of character. More like a TV soap than a novel. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sue
3.0 out of 5 stars De ja vu
Familiar plot, just changed the names. Broken relationship, new love, inheritance saves the day. A nice story though, but author recycling.
Published 2 months ago by Bex
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story
Couldn't put it down really made you feel you knew the characters in it well done again Erica seems you can't fail.
Published 4 months ago by ann crittenden
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice gentle read
A delightful story, gentle on the reader and easy-going. A couple of the characters did frustrate me, but on the whole a good read which kept me engaged right through to the end.
Published 4 months ago by J. Hopwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Book
Good story full of believable characters living in a real world. The locations come to life as you are drawn into the lives of people.
Published 5 months ago by Stephen
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
It is amazing how Erica James can gradually intertwine all the characters she writes about, and come up with such amazing storylines. Read more
Published 5 months ago by mrs christine young
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