The Lost Garden: A Novel (Paperback)
Leaving London to grow food for the war effort, Gwen discovers a mysterious lost garden and the story of a love that becomes her own.
This word-perfect, heartbreaking novel is set in early 1941 in Britain when the war seems endless and, perhaps, hopeless. London is on fire from the Blitz, and a young woman gardener named Gwen Davis flees from the burning city for the Devon countryside. She has volunteered for the Land Army, and is to be in charge of a group of young girls who will be trained to plant food crops on an old country estate where the gardens have fallen into ruin. Also on the estate, waiting to be posted, is a regiment of Canadian soldiers. For three months, the young women and men will form attachments, living in a temporary rural escape. No one will be more changed by the stay than Gwen. She will inspire the girls to restore the estate gardens, fall in love with a soldier, find her first deep friendship, and bring a lost garden, created for a great love, back to life. While doing so, she will finally come to know herself and a life worth living.
About the Author
Helen Humphreys, a poet and novelist, is the author of The Lost Garden, Afterimage, Leaving Earth, and Coventry. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.
What brings Gwen to life and makes this novel work is Humphreys's meticulous, lucid prose.
— Margot Livesey - New York Times Book Review
Luminous…a stunningly beautiful little gem that lingers in the memory like the heady scent of a damask rose.
— Karen Campbell - Boston Globe
A graceful, poetic novel of love and loss in England during World War II.
— Lee Milazzo - Dallas Morning News
A story of longing, life and death—the stuff all great gardens are made of.
— Catherine Newton - Morning Star-Telegram
A beautiful evocation of love and loss…Subtle and deeply affecting…Rich and satisfying.
— Minneapolis Star-Tribune
This is a book to read again and again.
— Nancy Goodwin, author of Year in Our Gardens
Those who, as children, loved The Secret Garden will hear its echo in The Lost Garden…[D]elicate, moving.
— Rosellen Brown, author of Before and After