Today’s review is like a dream come true for me and I’m still having to pinch myself that I was lucky enough to be sent a proof copy of The Garden Of Lost And Found by Harriet Evans. I have been a huge fan of Harriet’s for years after being gifted one of her earlier books by a friend and since then I have devoured each new offering she has released, my favourite to date being her last book The Wildflowers. Due for release in under a week, I’m delighted to be able to share my thoughts on Harriet’s latest book, The Garden Of Lost And Found. Many thanks to Becky Hunter, Headline Books and of course Harriet for allowing me to read this book ahead of it’s publication.
Nightingale House, 1919. Liddy Horner discovers her husband, the world-famous artist Sir Edward Horner, burning his best-known painting The Garden of Lost and Found days before his sudden death.
Nightingale House was the Horner family’s beloved home – a gem of design created to inspire happiness – and it was here Ned painted TheGarden of Lost and Found, capturing his children on a perfect day, playing in the rambling Eden he and Liddy made for them.
One magical moment. Before it all came tumbling down…
When Ned and Liddy’s great-granddaughter Juliet is sent the key to Nightingale House, she opens the door onto a forgotten world. The house holds its mysteries close but she is in search of answers. For who would choose to destroy what they love most? Whether Ned’s masterpiece – or, in Juliet’s case, her own children’s happiness.
Something shattered this corner of paradise. But what?
Usually when I write a review, I like to give a brief overview of the characters and the synopsis of the book, however I have found it practically impossible to do this for The Garden Of Lost And Found. Using multiple threads intricately woven together Harriet Evans has created a wonderfully complex story that simply cannot be summed up in a couple of paragraphs. I also wanted to avoid talking at length about the story as it would be incredibly difficult to avoid spoilers!
The Garden Of Lost And Found is a multi-generational, family saga which has the Horner family’s enchanting family home, Nightingale House, firmly at its centre. The story seamlessly switches between historical events and those in the present gradually building a clearer picture of the events which lead artist Sir Edward Horner to burn his most famous painting, The Garden Of Lost And Found, before bringing it to a climatic end with a final twist.
Initially I found it tricky to place the characters on the timeline of events and work out who came from which generation of the family. However, cleverily Harriet has included a list of all the children who played in the garden at the front of the book – this really helped me get to grips with the family tree. The book itself is rather long at over 550 pages, but it genuinely didn’t feel it. I was immediately sucked into the world of the Horner family and found myself longing for a spare five minutes to pick it up and find out what happened next!
Harriet Evans is a master of storytelling and this epic drama is her best yet, it absorbed me completely, taking me along as a passenger on its emotional journey. She has such a great easy style to her writing without lacking the detail required to give her story substance, her books are always such a joy to read and this was no exception. The Garden Of Lost And Found is filled with love, heartache, secrets and tragedy which when combined give a fabulously insightful glimpse into the family relationships and the struggles they have had to endure both past and present.
I adored The Garden Of Lost And Found and I truly hope my review does it justice as often it’s those books that you enjoy the most that prove the most difficult to write about. If you are already a Harriet Evans fan you will LOVE this latest offering and if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading any of her books, I urge you to check them out – you won’t be disappointed. 20 stars out of 10 from me!
About The Author
Harriet Evans is the author of Going Home, A Hopeless Romantic, The Love of Her Life, I Remember You, Love Always, Happily Ever After and Not Without You. Before becoming a full time writer Harriet was a successful editor for a London publishing house. She lives in London with her family.
The Garden Of Lost And Found will be published on 18th April 2019 and is available to pre-order now from Amazon*