It’s ages since I read a Trisha Ashley novel and having enjoyed this one so much, I won’t be leaving it so long again!
The idea of a book about restoring old gardens really caught my imagination. Like many people, we’ve been spending a lot of time in our garden over the past few months. I’d like to say we’ve been transforming it but really, we’ve just been enjoying some sunny weather and relaxing!
Marnie and Ned are two people damaged by past relationships, wary of new ones, bonding over working together to restore the gardens at Grace Hall to their former glory. They knew each other before when studying horticulture and got on well then. But some time has passed and both have had less than pleasant experiences with their former partners. Now, they have both turned their attention to gardening and to bringing the gardens back to life. The benefits to mental health of being outdoors is well known and we see nature work its healing magic on Marnie and Ned. I loved the sound of the various gardens with the rambling roses, the herbs, the vegetable patch and the poison garden all sounding fascinating. The work sounded physically hard but very satisfying.
I really, really liked the characters of sisters Elf and Myfy. Even Caspar, their enormous cat, was a significant presence in the book! Trisha Ashley has created some really memorable characters within the equally memorable Jericho’s End. I also really enjoyed the hint of magic which permeated the story.
As the gardens give up their secrets, family secrets are also revealed making for a very intriguing read. I do enjoy a book where looking into family history is part of the narrative so there was plenty in this story which I found compelling. Just as the gardens undergo a transformation and find a new lease of life, so do Ned and Marnie begin to put the past behind them and take chances on life and love. The Garden of Forgotten Wishes is a wonderfully uplifting read, in a gorgeous setting, showing it’s never too late for people – as well as gardens – to have second chances and new beginnings, to live life to the full.
My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for having me as part of the tour and for arranging a review copy of the book. The Garden of Forgotten Wishes is published by Bantam Press and is available now in hardback, ebook and audiobook formats. Please support a local bookshop if you are able to. Alternatively, you will find buying options for various retailers on the publisher’s website here: The Garden of Forgotten Wishes
From the back of the book
All Marnie wants is somewhere to call home. Mourning lost years spent in a marriage that has finally come to an end, she needs a fresh start and time to heal. Things she hopes to find in the rural west Lancashire village her mother always told her about.
With nothing but her two green thumbs, Marnie takes a job as a gardener, which comes with a little cottage to make her own. The garden is beautiful – filled with roses, lavender and honeysuckle – and only a little rough around the edges. Which is more than can be said for her next-door-neighbour, Ned Mars.
Marnie remembers Ned from her school days but he’s far from the untroubled man she once knew. A recent relationship has left him with a heart as bruised as her own.
Can a summer spent gardening help them heal and recapture the forgotten dreams they’ve let get away?
About the author
Trisha Ashley’s Sunday Times bestselling novels have twice been shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance, and Every Woman for Herself was nominated by readers as one of the top three romantic novels of the last fifty years. Trisha lives in North Wales. For more information about her please visit http://www.trishaashley.com, her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TrishaAshleyBooks or follow her on Twitter @trishaashley.