I received a free copy of The Forbidden Garden from TLC Book Tours for my honest review.
About the Book:
• Hardcover: 400 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (April 4, 2017)
“Captivating […] Herrick weaves a rich tapestry of family lore, dark secrets, and love.” —Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal
Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Sarah Jio, comes a lush imaginative novel that takes readers into the heart of a mysterious English country garden, waiting to spring to life.
Every garden is a story, waiting to be told…
At the nursery she runs with her sisters on the New England coast, Sorrel Sparrow has honed her rare gift for nurturing plants and flowers. Now that reputation, and a stroke of good timing, lands Sorrel an unexpected opportunity: reviving a long-dormant Shakespearean garden on an English country estate.
Arriving at Kirkwood Hall, ancestral home of Sir Graham Kirkwood and his wife Stella, Sorrel is shocked by the desolate state of the walled garden. Generations have tried—and failed—to bring it back to glory. Sorrel senses heartbreak and betrayal here, perhaps even enchantment. Intrigued by the house’s history—especially the haunting tapestries that grace its walls—and increasingly drawn to Stella’s enigmatic brother, Sorrel sets to work. And though she knows her true home is across the sea with her sisters, instinct tells her that the English garden’s destiny is entwined with her own, if she can only unravel its secrets…
About the Author:
Ellen Herrick was a publishing professional in New York City until she and her husband moved to London for a brief stint; they returned nearly twenty years later with three children (her own, it must be said). She now divides her time between Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a small town on Cape Cod very much like Granite Point.
This is the second book from the author featuring her mystical, gardening sisters. In the first book, The Sparrow Sisters, the women were introduced and with this book the eldest surviving sister, Sorrel is featured. There was much trauma in the first book that leads to the actions in The Forbidden Garden. You can easily read this book without having read the first but as is usual with a continuing series, having done so will enhance the experience.
Sorrel Sparrow has an uncanny ability with flowers. Her bouquets bring joy and her gardens are a joy to behold. There is no simple explanation for how she does what she does but her talents are sung far and wide. She does make some people nervous but she tries to not let it bother her. A man in England with a garden in desperate need of help learns of Sorrel and writes to her to come and bring his Shakespeare Garden back to life – his family history is dark and he fears that there is something evil that only a stranger can fix.
Sorrel agrees and finds herself falling in love with England, the estate and a special someone – but can she trust any of it? Or is it just being out of her element and away from her sisters?
I did enjoy this book. I really enjoyed The Sparrow Sisters and this sequel is also good – not as good in my opinion but still a good book. Ms. Herrick really brought both London and the English countryside to life for me as a reader. I wanted more history though – since the premise of the story was the evil in the garden and that evil was due to something that happened in the past I wanted (needed?) more of that part of the story. Maybe it’s my love of historical fiction and I’m in the minority here, I don’t know, but I feel that there was not enough. Other than that it was a good story with a bit of romance, a bit of magic and a touch of history. I do hope there will be further Sparrow Sisters books.