Heidi Swain’s latest novel, The Winter Garden, sees a return to Nightingale Square, the setting for some of her previous novels and it’s just a joy to read. Following the death of her friend Eloise, gardener Freya left the estate where she had a live in job and moved to the Square to help create a Winter Garden. The residents of Nightingale Square are so pleased that Freya has moved in. It sounds like such a warm and welcoming community and I like to think that there are places throughout the country which are friendly and supportive like that.
A strong theme in this book is the benefit of being outside, of being in nature, for people’s mental as well as physical health. This is so important in real life right now as we head into what might well be a difficult winter. As Freya points out, we should all try to get out for some fresh air even just for a few minutes everyday.
As a festival to brighten the winter months, Winterfest, is developed there are so many workshops arranged which had great ideas for any of us. We read about creating a nature diary, festive baking, making items to decorate the home from natural materials, making homes for wildlife, nature inspired creative writing. There are so many wonderful ideas of how to get outside and be inspired and creative during the shorter, darker winter months. Heidi Swain paints such a vivid picture of her settings that I could easily imagine the Winter Garden, the workshops taking place for Winterfest and artist Finn’s stunning sculpture creations.
There is a gorgeous romance at the heart of the book, where a slightly rocky start to a friendship leads eventually to a deeper relationship. There are lots of bumps in the road and missed opportunities and misunderstandings but who doesn’t enjoy watching a relationship evolve and resolve from this kind of start?
If you need something to make you feel uplifted and warm inside, whatever the weather, look no further than a Heidi Swain book. The Secret Seaside Escape was one of the highlights of my summer reading and The Winter Garden is joining it as another seasonal highlight.
My thanks to Harriet at Simon & Schuster for having me as part of the tour and for my review copy of the book. The Winter Garden is available now in all formats. Please support and buy from a local bookshop if you can. Alternatively, you will find buying links for various retailers on the Simon & Schuster website here: The Winter Garden
From the back of the book
Will love bloom this winter?
Freya Fuller is living her dream, working as a live-in gardener on a beautiful Suffolk estate. But when the owner dies, Freya finds herself forced out of her job and her home with nowhere to go. However, with luck on her side, she’s soon moving to Nightingale Square and helping to create a beautiful winter garden that will be open to the public in time for Christmas.
There’s a warm welcome from all in Nightingale Square, except from local artist Finn. No matter how hard the pair try, they just can’t get along, and working together to bring the winter garden to life quickly becomes a struggle for them both.
Will Freya and Finn be able to put their differences aside in time for Christmas? Or will the arrival of a face from Freya’s past send them all spiralling?
The Winter Garden is the perfect read this Christmas, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Cathy Bramley and Sarah Morgan.
About the author
Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times Top Ten best-selling author of SLEIGH RIDES AND SILVER BELLS AT THE CHRISTMAS FAIR. Her other titles include The Cherry Tree Café, Summer at Skylark Farm, Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market, Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage, Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland, Poppy’s Recipe for Life, The Christmas Wish List and The Secret Seaside Escape.
Heidi lives in beautiful south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading. Her tbr pile is always out of control!
Heidi loves to chat with her readers and you can get in touch via her website heidiswain.co.uk/ or Twitter @Heidi_Swain