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Reader Reviewed
A Secret Garden by Katie Fforde

A Secret Garden

Literary Fiction   Relationship Stories   
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February 2018 Book of the Month.

Another joyful hug of a read from Katie Fforde, what more could you want, than to settle down with her latest book! Philly, Lorna and Anthea, all wonderful ladies, in various stages of their lives, sit centre stage in this delightful story. Set in a friendly community, with a garden to restore, will love pay a fleeting visit or settle in for a longer stay? As to be expected, the three main characters are surrounded by a lovely cast of friends, as life throws gravel, pebbles, and socking great boulders in their path. Katie Fforde has the wonderful ability to put a smile on my face, and I feel re-energised and ready to face the world again when I finish her lovely tales. To be honest, her stories speak for themselves, I really only need to tell you that the latest Katie Fforde is out, and it’s the warm and very charming ‘A Secret Garden’. ~ Liz Robinson

Click here to read an exclusive interview with Katie Fforde by Mary Hogarth.

If you like Katie Fforde you might also like to read books by Isla Dewar, Lisa Jewell and Harriet Evans.

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.

  • Humaira - 'A Secret Garden is as Poignant as the characters. I loved it dearly...I just love it when an author can make you love something so much just with the power of words.
  • Annie Day - 'A great 'feel good' story with three intertwined romances.'
  • Ailsa Anderson - 'Transport yourself into the pages of Fforde's latest creation A Secret Garden. Where you'll find a perfect mix of romance, humour, love, secrets, men. You won't be disappointed.'
  • Julie Watkin - 'A gentle and pleasing read designed to remind us that true love is never beyond our reach.'
  • Cathy Burman - 'A secret garden is not the only secret in this book. The characters also have hidden secrets which, as you turn the pages, will slowly be revealed. Dare to enter and enjoy as I did.    
  • Gemma Niven - 'Fantastic book by Katie Fforde which will warm your heart and make you feel all cosy and fuzzy inside!'
  • Edel Waugh - 'this is a cosy, feel good read centred around a special garden with likeable characters that will leave you wanting more.'
  • Emily Wright - 'Katie Fforde is an author I turn to time and again for a comforting read. A Secret Garden bears the trademarks of friendship, romance and warmth which I have come to know and love in her writing.'
  • Alison Jones - 'What a delightful read! From start to finish I was treated to a world of romance and happy ever afters that lifted my heart and spirit leaving me tripping on air.'
  • Evelyn Barrett - 'A scrumptiously romantic offering, ideally suited both to a cosy winter's evening by the fire and a sunny beach with a cocktail.'
  • Kathy Martin - 'Pure escapism and a delightfully easy read.'
  • Lizzy Dingemans - 'Make a hot chocolate and curl up in a comfy chair to enjoy this charming new tale where relationships intertwine as much as the plants in the secret garden, in this charming tale by a well-established author.'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Once again Katie whisks the reader away, this time to the Cotswolds, a place full of blue skies, romance, secrets and men who need to be shown that love sometimes is staring them in the face.'
  • Janet Gilliard - 'I really enjoyed this. A new Katie Fforde is like meeting an old friend and catching up on all the news. Highly recommended.'
  • Nicola Cooper - 'A feel good read, in a beautiful setting.  Just what we need to get us in the mood for spring. Katie Fforde fans will love it.'


A Secret Garden by Katie Fforde

Will opening the door lead to love and happy endings? Romance, humour and happy-ever-after endings, the delicious romantic new novel from the Sunday Times number one bestselling author of A Vintage Wedding and A Summer at Sea.

Lorna and her friend Philly work together in the grounds of a beautiful manor house in the Cotswolds. But even though they are surrounded by family and friends, the door to true love remains resolutely closed. Could their discovery of a secret garden mean this is about to change?


Escape to romance and happy-ever-after in this lovely tale Prima

An absolutely delightful read Bookworms and Shutter Bugs Blog

A good, light read, ideal for travelling LibroFullTime Blog

A Secret Garden would be a great holiday read for romantic fiction fans; something to leaf through while sitting in a sunny spot, enjoying some peace and quiet Art and Soul Blog

Katie Fforde's books, for me, are like curling up by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate. It's so easy to slip between the pages to that familiar world of sweet, but not sugary, funny and romantic. A Secret Garden is a real joy to read The Book Whisperer

Modern-day Austen. Great fun Red

Top-drawer romantic escapism Daily Mail

Deliciously enjoyable Red

Warm, brilliant and full of love Heat

About the Author

Katie Fforde

Katie Fforde lives in the beautiful Cotswold countryside with her family, and is a true country girl at heart. Each of her books explores a different profession or background and her research has helped her bring these to life. She’s been a porter in an auction house, tried her hand at pottery, refurbished furniture, delved behind the scenes of a dating website, and she's even been on a Ray Mears survival course. She loves being a writer; to her there isn’t a more satisfying and pleasing thing to do. She particularly enjoys writing love stories. She believes falling in love is the best thing in the world, and she wants all her characters to experience it, and her readers to share their stories.

Click here to read an exclusive interview with Katie Fforde by Mary Hogarth.

I met Katie through the Romantic Novelists Association, whether you're a published novelist or not, you can still join and get some great tips. Katie is as much fun as her heroines who make me feel that nothing is impossible in life even when you're negotiating unexpected corners. One of my all time favourites is Wild Designs.

Author photo © David O’Driscoll

Below is a Q&A with this author

1. Did you always want to become an author?
No, I didn’t know I wanted to be an author until my late twenties. Before that I ran a narrowboat hotel business with my husband and then had babies, but I would have liked to be a counsellor if I wasn’t a writer.
2. Do you miss anything from your life before?
I had a very good life before I became an author, with a lovely husband, children and house. But when I started writing I realised what I had been missing. I think it’s to do with having an overactive imagination and wanting to communicate (which can be a posh word for chat!).
3. What’s the best thing about being an author?
The best thing is getting to try out lots of jobs I could never have had in real life through my characters. It’s also lovely to hear from people who have enjoyed my books – it can give me the impression that I’m doing something worthwhile, even though what I write is for entertainment.
4. How do you start writing a new novel?
I start with a theme. I have several subjects I long to explore bubbling around at any one time and when one comes to the top I start to think about my characters. Then comes the plot. I don’t usually know at the beginning what the ending will be – I have to wait and find out! Although I know that it will be happy.
5. What are the essentials of creating a good romance?
I think a good hero is absolutely key, and then a heroine who the reader can recognise – not too perfect, but likeable. Plot is very important, so then it’s a case of creating a few really romantic scenes. Not necessarily hearts-and-flowers romantic but unexpected romance in surprising places.
6. Why is research important?
It’s hard enough to write a book as it is, let alone without knowing about your theme – you need to know your stuff. That said, some things can be impossible to research, like the judging at the Chelsea Flower Show, or when the Queen visits! I do quite a lot of research personally. I remember a writer friend saying to me, ‘But you write contemporaries, you don’t need to do research’, but that is very far from the truth. My early books were set around my own life – working in a cafe and being a cleaning lady were things I had actually done. However, eventually I ran out of life experience and had to do research. I love finding out fascinating things about subjects that interest me.
7. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you try and relieve this?
Writers block happens often in a small way. A change of scene helps to relieve it for me. This might involve shopping, a drive in the car (scenery often gets my creative juices going) or just being with friends. Luckily it never lasts for long with me and is often caused by being a bit tired.

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Book Info

Publication date

8th February 2018


Katie Fforde

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Arrow Books Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone


400 pages


Literary Fiction
Relationship Stories

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Adult & contemporary romance



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