Harriet Evans has been a go-to author for me, for a while now as her ability to create unique backstories for each of her characters and balance the ‘to and fro’ of a varied timeline is exquisite. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, Evans has a fantastic knack of knowing how long to stay in an era before diving forwards and backwards, leaving the reader utterly enthralled.
The Garden of Lost and Found is my FAVOURITE book by Evans yet, the topic of fine art seemed to really capture my curiosity and I loved the mystery of the piece, that made Ned Horner internationally known and well regarded as an artist.
When I finished the book, I tweeted that this book has everything: intrigue; history; secrets; family dynamics; drama; twists; excitement; multiple sub plots and a kick ass main character. That’s actually a great summary, I could just finish my review now to be honest…
But I won’t, I will expand a bit more…
Why did Ned burn his most famous piece of art?
Why is Juliet now the owner of Nightingale House when her grandmother hasn’t talked to her in years?
These are just two of the many questions running through your mind as you turn the pages in this marvelous book.
In the past, we meet Liddy and her sister, Mary. Her father and their horrific nanny; Nurse Bryant, have decided it’s time for Liddy to marry but she isn’t keen on her suitor, in fact she’s quite taken by her brother’s friend – Ned. But defying her father and Bryant has consequences and her punishment is severe, will Ned save her from it all? Her sister; Mary, also seems to like someone but she refuses to let anything come of it – why?
In present time, Juliet is dealt some massive blows in her personal life and at work. When she receives a letter saying she now owns Nightingale House, she hatches a plan for a fresh start. With many thinking she’s lost the plot and running away from everything, it’s time for Juliet to be strong and do what she thinks is best, which is always difficult when you have a teenager…
Talking of Bee (the teenager), Evans rather wonderful broaches and allows her characters to deal with a topic that attracted all of the emotions and brought out the sensitivities in them all. It was explored carefully and thoughtfully and gave the reader food for thought.
Back and forth we go from the past to the present stitching together the lives of the Horner family whilst discovering the highs and the lows. The more I read, the more attached I became to the characters, heightening my emotions.
This is a beautifully crafted story that will lure you in and capture your curiosity and your heart. It is storytelling at its best – fully immersing the reader in it all, and leaving the reader with a lasting, memorable impression of the characters, the setting and the plot.
The Garden of Lost and Found is out now in hardback and eBook versions by Headline review but guess what? The paperback is out in only two days (5th September), so no excuses, go grab it!
Until next time, Chloé x