The Lost Garden: A Novel Paperback – 21 Jan 2004
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"A finely wrought novel.... What brings Gwen to life and makes this novel work is Humphreys's meticulous, lucid prose.
A story of longing, life and death-the stuff all great gardens are made of. -- Catherine Newton
A beautiful novel with substance. -- Jessica Teisch
A beautiful novel with substance.--Jessica Teisch
Those who, as children, loved "The Secret Garden" will hear its echo in "The Lost Garden"....[D]elicate, moving. --Rosellen Brown
A beautiful novel with substance. --Jessica Teisch"
Humphreys has a poet's eye, and the story is full of startling images that linger in the mind. --Lisa Michaels"
This is a book to read again and again. Nancy Goodwin, author of "A Year in our Gardens" --Nancy Goodwin"
Those who, as children, loved The Secret Garden will hear its echo in The Lost Garden....[D]elicate, moving. --Rosellen Brown"
Humphreys's affecting third novel never fails to couple the realistic with the ideal, the historical with the timeless. --Matthew Batt"
A finely wrought novel....What brings Gwen to life and makes this novel work is Humphreys's meticulous, lucid prose. --Margot Livesey"
This novel...remains with the reader long after the last page is turned, and it feels like an evening walk through a pungent, private garden.--Beth Kephart
Luminous....a stunningly beautiful little gem that lingers in the memory like the heady scent of a damask rose.--Karen Campbell
Multi-layered in its themes with an undercurrent of wartime passion and danger...unforgettable.--Judy Gaither and Emily Gaither
A graceful, poetic novel of love and loss in England during World War II.--Lee Milazzo
A story of longing, life and death the stuff all great gardens are made of.--Catherine Newton"
A beautiful evocation of love and loss....Subtle and deeply affecting....Rich and satisfying.
A story of longing, life and death--the stuff all great gardens are made of.--Catherine Newton
About the Author
Helen Humphreys, a poet and novelist, is the author of The Lost Garden, Afterimage, Leaving Earth, and Coventry. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.
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Gwen herself is quite a sad character; rejected by her self-absorbed mother and ignored by men, she pours all her passion into gardening, until she meets two people thanks to the Land Girl movement: Jane and Captain Raley. Jane is recovering from a nervous breakdown, while Raley is heading towards one as he waits to be sent over to Europe. Gwen is clumsy with people, yet she reaches out to these two, and tries to help them, moved by their different yet similar distress. Intertwined with Gwen's discoveries about her two new friends is the discovery of a secret garden at the house where the girls are staying. It is not included in the house plans and Gwen embarks on a quest to find out who planted it and why. There is also a mysterious ghost who steals chickens, which gives necessary light relief to a story that deals with intense issues. The lucid language clearly evokes Gwen's feelings and memories, but Humphreys never allows the story to be bogged down. Her eye for detail is amazing. I intend to buy her other books and read them, and there's no better compliment.
A brilliant portrayal of love in a time of war, THE LOST GARDEN is a literary arrangement I could not recommend more highly.
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