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on 1 August 2012
The combination of the two stories from two different era's is magical. Especially the way Juliet Greenwood has managed to tie the stories together, you can't put the book down as you have to unravel the connection between Victorian London and the present day. As you go through the book you build up relationships with the characters and you can connect with experiences they go through and the different places they visit in Snowdonia, Devon and Cornwall.

After reading the book I felt like I had been to Eden's Garden and walked around, I could almost smell the air. Juliet Greenwood has created a magical world that would make everybody want to visit Eden's Garden and experience the enchanted word. So if you like mysteries, ghosts, history, gardening, self-sufficiency, art and love then this is the book for you....what more could you want from a book!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 3 December 2012
This book sounded like my favourite type, written in a dual time frame, with a character in the present delving into the past so I began with high hopes.
It's easy to read, and interesting enough but I did think it took a little while to get going.
In the present day is Carys, a thirtysomething, who lives in Chester with her boyfriend and is volunteered by her busy married sisters to look after their mother who has been injured in a fall. Carys returns, a little reluctantly, to her childhood home, close to her former childhood sweetheart David's ancestral home. As she renews her friendship with David, she becomes drawn into a mystery following the discovery of an old postcard and some old photographs.
In the past, is the story of Ann in the late nineteenth century. Ann is running away from something or someone, but we do not find out what for some time. I enjoyed Ann's story, and my one criticism of the book would be that not enough is made of her story. There are parts that were dealt with in a few pages but could have been fleshed out so much more, but I cannot say what for fear of giving spoilers.
Do not go into this book expecting one similar to Kate Morton or Lucinda Riley where a good deal of the story is set in the past, this book is largely in the present, at a rough estimate I would say only 10 or maybe 15% is in the past. I thought this was a shame.
BUT, once Carys and David begin to delve into the past, there is an interesting mystery at the heart of it and I did enjoy it and would probably look out for the author's next book.
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on 8 May 2012
There are ghosts at Plas Eden, the ramshackle country home and estate that lies at the heart of this beautiful and intriguing novel. `Eden's ghosts' is what the villages call the mysterious statues set in a secret glade in the grounds, but Plas Eden also holds the untold stories of previous occupants and memories of a youthful love affair cut short which still weigh heavy.

Through the characters of two women, Carys in the present day and Ann in the past, the ghosts of Plas Eden are laid to rest, but this is so much more than a story about a country house. Carys, still childless, faces a challenge many women will recognise when her sisters nominate her to look after their sick mother forcing her to put her career and relationship on hold. Ann, in the past, is a victim of the times she lives in, but her story still has resonance today. In her clever depiction of these two women facing and overcoming their challenges, Juliet Greenwood has created an absorbing, satisfying and uplifting novel which I thoroughly enjoyed.
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on 25 August 2013
When I came across Eden's Garden I knew it was just my sort of book and I wasn't disappointed. As far as I'm concerned it's got everything - gardens, combination of two time periods, mystery, romance, believable characters and a great plot. It had me hooked from the start: just absorb the atmosphere, go along with the flow of the story and enjoy this easy to read page turner. I absolutely recommend it!
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on 27 March 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed Juliet's second novel. Juliet has created believable characters in beautifully drawn settings: London in 1898, and twenty-first century Snowdonia, Devon and Cornwall.

At first I thought it would be a fairly standard story of young lovers who part and then meet again to rekindle a more mature romance. However, satisfying as the outcome of the modern day love story may be, it is the mysteries contained in the second story, interwoven with the first, which add depth and interest. I really wanted to know how the stories linked together and whether the lost family history would be uncovered, and the questions answered.

The stories are linked by gardens, painting, sculpture, and love, lost and found. I loved the two flower motifs which, like the first letter of an illuminated manuscript, introduce each part of the two stories. The 1898 story moved me to tears at one point, while I could totally identify with the emotional journey of the modern-day characters.

I liked the way Juliet unravelled the story of the creation of the statues in the garden, keeping my interest right to the end. I also love the way she writes the character of Hodge, the Labrador. Completely true to life as Labrador lovers worldwide will testify!
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on 3 November 2013
Yes, I enjoyed this e-book. I think this is the first book by Juliet Greenwood and look forward to reading more books by this author.
I am nearing the end of it and it looks to be turning out as I expected.
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on 9 September 2013
I loved this book, possibly the best 2013 read so far. The dual storylines were both compelling and well balanced. I was really able to imagine myself in the Welsh region and was totally drawn into the lives of the characters. I could really recommend this book especially if you are a fan of Rachel Here or Susanna Kearsley.
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on 9 September 2013
A pleasing story very reminiscent of The Forgotten Garden. An secret from the past unites an estranged couple in a search for the truth. A small, gossipy Welsh village replete with caricatures, a dilapidated stately home and some very nice descriptions of landscape, flora and art complement the rather darker and mysterious scenes from the past. The author makes a real effort to understand and portray the issues of caring for an elderly parent and the dichotomy which increasingly exists between ageing and maintaining an enjoyable independence for older people.
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Carys returns to the village of her childhood. Pont-ar-Eden is small and there's a dilapidated estate called Plas Eden. There's a garden with beautiful statues. Plas Eden could have been Carys's home, but she and David split up when she went to university. Years later Carys has to start all over again as she's all of a sudden single and she's back to take care of her mother. Maybe now that she's in Pont-ar-Eden again maybe she and David can become friends again.

Ann has escaped something horrible and is now working in a hospital in London. There she works as hard as she can and she tries to stay unnoticed. That doesn't work very well though as she's a skilled artist. Mr. Meredith soon notices Ann and he gives her more to do than cleaning. Slowly Ann is starting to see a future for herself again.

What is the history of the statues in the garden of Plas Eden and what happened with Ann? David and Carys are trying to uncover the truth. They're searching for the story behind all the secrets of the past. While they're searching David and Carys find more than they were hoping for. Will the past change the plans they have for the future?

Eden's Garden is a book filled with family history. I loved the secrets, the path that lead to the truth and every character in this novel. I couldn't put this novel down, I was addicted from the first phrase. The secret is complicated and not something that can easily be guessed, I liked the intrigue. Juliet Greenwood's writing is brilliant and she knows how to tell a story. She can build the tension so well and it's always just enough and never too much. I enjoyed reading this book very much, it's a fantastic story, a book to read again and again.
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on 5 September 2012
This book with its focus on historic gardens and a setting in North Wales had immediate appeal for me. The bulk of it is a contemporary love story between David Meredith from the big house and local girl Carys. Their teenage courtship came to nothing but Carys, now in her thirties, has come home to look after Mam and David is still around, unattached and partially disabled following a skiiing accident(ah, the wounded hero!)Will the couple find romance again? And will the Meredith house escape being sold off by David's more mercenary brother? The author's description of village life is like a Welsh bara brith - soaked in atmosphere and full of authentic detail, but what gives the book an added dimension is the parallel tale set in Victorian London of the mysterious girl from Cornwall who played a part in the family's past, whose story sends David and Carys on a new quest.
As the cover suggests this is a gentle romance with, despite its modern dilemmas, a slightly old-fashioned feel, something many readers may like. For me the present-day narrative could have offered a bit more in the way of tension and I found David a less dynamic character than Carys. But this novel is still packed with good things and has lots to offer anyone who likes romance with a bit of mystery thrown in.
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