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The Lost Garden

by Katharine Swartz

Part of the Tales from Goswell Series

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Family Drama Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on The Lost Garden

A charming, warm and evocative tale, told in two time frames, this is the second in the Tales from Goswell series set in Cumbria. Eleanor’s story starts in 1918, while Marin’s although not dated, feels as though it is set in the present. The two tales are connected, by more than the walled garden that remains a constant from one time to the next; both Marin and Eleanor are experiencing loss and attempting to make sense of the world around them. The focus on the time immediately after the First World War gives a fascinating insight into some of the difficulties faced by men and women trying to find a sense of normality. The Hatton’s from ‘The Vicar’s Wife’, the first in the series, also appear in Marin’s story. This sweet, engaging tale, has a darker edge, however the focus on forgiveness and hope that weaves through both time frames, creates a moving and enjoyable read. ~ Liz Robinson

Liz Robinson

The Lost Garden Synopsis

Marin Ellis is in search of a new start after her father and his second wife die in a car accident, and at thirty-seven she is made guardian of her fifteen-year-old half-sister Rebecca. They leave Hampshire for the picturesque village of Goswell on the Cumbrian coast, and settle into Bower House on the edge of the village church property. When a door to a walled garden captures Rebecca's interest, Marin becomes determined to open it and discover what is hidden beneath the bramble inside. She enlists the help of local gardener Joss Fowler, and together the three of them begin to uncover the garden's secrets. In 1919, nineteen-year-old Eleanor Sanderson, daughter of Goswell's vicar, is grieving the loss of her beloved brother Walter, who was killed just days before the Armistice was signed. Eleanor retreats into herself and her father starts to notice how unhappy she is. As spring arrives, he decides to hire someone to make a garden for Eleanor, and draw her out of - or at least distract her from - her grief and sorrow. Jack Taylor is in his early twenties, a Yorkshire man who has been doing odd jobs in the village, and when Eleanor's father hires him to work on the vicarage gardens, a surprising - and unsuitable - friendship unfolds.

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The Lost Garden Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Lisa Redmond - 'A beautifully written story of grief, love, duty and redemption, perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Rachel Hore.'
  • Kath Martin - 'I found this a book quite moving at times.  It is a gentle story of bereavement and grief...but it is told with a surprisingly light touch.'
  • Vanessa Wild - 'A gentle, touching, engaging and delightful read about grief, forgiveness and hope.'
  • Christine Scott - 'Fantastic book of past and present.'
  • Jennifer Stewart  - 'The Cumbrian coast is the setting for this gentle, heart-warming tale of interwoven past and present love stories. An undemanding read with likeable characters that draw you in and make you want to keep reading.' 
  • Nicola Briggs - ‘The Lost Garden is an evocative novel alternating between the present day and post-WW1.  It’s an engaging and easy read, perfect for summer holidays or rainy days.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'A beautiful story for those who like stories that flit back and forth in time showing us that despite modern day being so different in many ways emotions and love never change at all.'
  • Pauline Braisher - 'Small book, big story!...This is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read and I would highly recommend it.'
  • Nicola Crisp - 'I loved the way that the two stories unfolded together...and you are kept guessing through most of the book about how the stories will be resolved.'
  • Margaret Freeman - 'An emotionally intense, yet gentle story, of love, loss and grief, set in both the past and the present.'
  • Christine Schollar - 'Amazing, unputdownable.  I absolutely loved this book.  One of the best novels I have read in a long time.'
  • Jane Pepler - 'I really enjoyed the book and found it a compulsive read...I am delighted to have discovered this writer and look forward to reading her other books.'
  • Sharon Goodwin - 'A gently paced read that draws you in and makes you care about the characters.'
  • Janet Gilliard - 'This is a gentle story which I enjoyed very much.'
  • Christine Waddington - 'The two stories unfold with surprises along the way and you feel very much drawn into the lives of all the characters and really care what happens to them.'
  • Rebecca Cockeram - 'I found this book a struggle. It seemed a bit to slow for me, and I couldn't warm to the characters.'

The Lost Garden Press Reviews

'Katharine Swartz can do no wrong. The Lost Garden navigates loss and hope with Swartz's deft hand and unflinching ability to tell a quiet story so well it resonates in the heart for a long, long while after the final page.' -- Megan Crane, USA Today


'Bestselling author of Once More With Feeling and I Love the 80s Katharine Swartz always delivers a beautifully written, deeply emotional read. The Lost Garden is a touching and tragic novel, and yet ultimately it is a story of both hope and redemption.' -- Maisey Yates, USA Today Bestselling author of Part Time Cowboy

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781782641377
Publication date: 15/05/2015
Publisher: Lion Fiction an imprint of Lion Hudson Plc
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781782641377
Publication date: 15th May 2015
Author: Katharine Swartz
Publisher: Lion Fiction an imprint of Lion Hudson Plc
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Historical Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Katharine Swartz

After spending three years as a diehard New Yorker, Katharine Swartz now lives in the Wales with her husband, their five children, and a Golden Retriever. She enjoys such novel things as long country walks and chatting with people in the street, and her children love the freedom of village life—although she often has to ring four or five people to figure out where they’ve gone off to. She writes women’s fiction as well as contemporary romance under the name Kate Hewitt, and whatever the genre she enjoys delivering a compelling and intensely emotional ...

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