I absolutely adored Sharon Gosling’s last novel, The Lighthouse Bookshop, which was one of my top reads of last year. I was very excited to read this new one, The Forgotten Garden, and I’m pleased to say it’s just as lovely.
About the book
A novel of second chances and blossoming communities from the author of The Lighthouse Bookshop.
Budding landscape architect Luisa MacGregor is stuck in a rut – she hates her boss, she lives with her sister, and she is still mourning the loss of her husband many years ago. So when she is given the opportunity to take on a parcel of land in a deprived area, she sees the chance to build a garden that can make the area bloom.
Arriving in the rundown seaside town of Collaton on the north-west coast of Cumbria, she realises that her work is going to be cut out for her. But, along with Cas, a local PE teacher, and Harper, a teen whose life has taken a wrong turn, she is determined to get the garden up and running.
So when the community comes together and the garden starts to grow, she feels her luck might have changed. Can she grow good things on this rocky ground? And might love blossom along the way…?
The jaded seaside town of Collaton is somewhere that many people have written off as just another rundown post-industrial town. But there are people who want to make a difference and if there’s one message I took from this book it is how people coming together can indeed make a difference.
First of all there is our main character Luisa, a landscape architect who is still hugely affected by the tragic loss of her young husband Reuben some years previously. When she is given the chance to take on and transform an piece of old factory ground into a community garden, she somewhat reluctantly agrees without much hope of it being a success. Then there’s Cas – Mr P – a high school teacher who runs a boxing gym in his spare time to give youngsters somewhere to go and something to do other than get into trouble. A more surprising character is young Harper. She’s having to act way beyond her years to look after not just herself but her young brother too. She’s taken a few wrong turns and got herself into trouble in the past. It was easy to understand how she had got herself into such situations and how difficult it was for her to get out of them. Despite her prickly nature my heart went out to this young girl who had so much potential. She just needed someone to believe in her and give her the opportunity to show what she was capable of.
There are so many parts of this book which I noted down to mention in my review. Mostly it comes down to building that sense of community and that’s something that Sharon Gosling writes about so well. Whether it’s the young people attending the boxing gym learning to respect each other and forming friendships that create a feeling of belonging for them or Luisa slowly but surely engaging the locals to feel that they are part of the garden project, creating chances for people to come together and work for a common good are at the heart of this book.
The Forgotten Garden is full of emotion and shows how people working together for the common good can be so transforming in ways which are often unexpected. Sharon Gosling shows what a community can achieve if the people all pull together with a sense of purpose and determination to make a difference. The Forgotten Garden is a gorgeous story, uplifting and with a very satisfying ending.
My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part
in the tour and for arranging a review copy of the book.
The Forgotten Garden is published by Simon and Schuster and available now.
About the Author
Sharon started her career as an entertainment journalist, writing non-fiction books about film and television. She is also the author of multiple children’s books. Sharon and her husband live in a small village in northern Cumbria. She can be found on Twitter @sharongosling
3 thoughts on “The Forgotten Garden by Sharon Gosling | #bookreview | @SharonGosling @RandomTTours @SimonSchusterUK @TeamBATC”
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Thanks for the blog tour support x
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Lovely review. It sounds like a avery heartwarming story.