The Winter Garden. Nicola Cornick

The winter garden

1605: Anne Catesby fears for her family. Her son, the darkly charismatic Robert, is secretly plotting to kill the king, placing his wife and child in grave danger. Anne must make a terrible choice: betray her only child or risk her family’s security…and her very life.

Present Day: When her dreams of becoming a musician are shattered, Lucy takes refuge in her family’s ancestral home in Oxfordshire. Everyone knows it was originally home to the notorious gunpowder plotter Robert Catesby. As Lucy spends more time in the beautiful winter garden that Robert made, she starts to have strange visions of a woman in Tudor dress, terrified and facing a heartbreaking dilemma.

As Lucy’s and Anne’s stories converge, a shared secret that has echoed through the centuries separating them will change Lucy’s life forever…

The Winter Garden is a slightly unusual dual timeline. We are taken back to Tudor times and the gun powder plot, mainly presented to us through the eyes of Anne Gatesby. We see a beautiful relationship that ends so soon. What stood out to me was that people died so quickly from various diseases, and to make it through childhood is a mission.

In contemporary time, we meet Lucy, who has been ill and can no longer carry on with the musical career she so dearly loved. She stays at her Aunt’s place to convalesce, and somehow her sadness connects with a woman from Tudor times. She seems to be wanting something, and from time to time Lucy can see her. Lucy combines with Finn who is restoring the Tudor garden, to solve the mystery that has a past and a present.

There is danger, someone has already lost their life and someone else will too in the course of the story. And through it all Lucy finds a new passion and a relationship that is very likely to last.

I enjoyed this story, the Tudor section was especially interesting and I really felt for Anne Catesby. I liked the slightly paranormal aspect and the link between past and present.


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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I seem to have not got much reading done this week. I have continued with my slow and steady read – Emma by J Austen and will finish that this coming week. And then to choose my next. I have also had my turn from the library for The Palace Papers by Tina Brown. I’ll give it a quick read. Just dipping in to what I might find interesting. So much of it is known anyway.

It was my turn to host brothers/sisters/partners Friday evening at my house. Which is very simple – we get fish and chips and sit around and catch up on what’s been happening. One pair had been to England to meet his birth mother, they just contacted her about 2 years ago and now that Covid has lessened my sister and he went over to meet her. So lots to talk about. And of course I needed to tidy the house a bit more than usual – sisters and sister in law you know. Men don’t look, although my brother did say outside was looking tidy!

What I read last week:

Just the one book last week that was a little different and I enjoyed. Review to follow later.

The winter garden

What I am reading now:

#2 in a series about a hotel being reestablished, it has its own ghosts and a new owner who is keen to get it updated.

High Spirits

And listening to One Mountain Away from Emilie Richards. A reread and loving it as much as I did the first time, and well… amazing (or not) how much I had forgotten.

Up next:

I thought I had read this, I thought I had a copy. No to both. Maybe I gave it away? Maybe… So … I bought a copy and I intend reading this next.

The Peach Keeper 

Last Week’s Posts

Becoming Beth.  Meredith Appleyard

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