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 The Garden of Lost and Found, capturing his children on a perfect day.
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 starts a new life with her three children and 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?
I absolutely loved this mysterious and absorbing read. It drew me in from the very first paragraph and held me in its spell right until the very final page.
A mysterious house, a magical painting and a compelling main character – these are some of the many reasons that I was so drawn to The Garden of Lost and Found and why I’m so grateful to Anne Cater from #RandomThings Tours for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.
I love immersing myself in a fabulous historical read and the setting here was one of the most memorable aspects of The Garden of Lost and Found as I really felt like I could imagine myself there at Nightingale House with Juliet and explore its hidden pathways and mysteries for myself.
Is anyone else like me and love to go online and look for settings of the book that they’re loving, to try and see its world come to life? I love doing it and I found myself scrolling through pages and pages of gorgeous houses, trying to walk in both Liddy and Juliet’s shoes.
It’s always wonderful at this point to find that the amazing The Book Trail have done their fabulous magic and allowed us a peek through the gates of this world and given us a really insightful backdrop to this fantastic read. As usual, I can’t praise their site highly enough and am recommending it to everyone who reads this book so they can see its world in a new and more informed way.
It was lovely to lose myself in a fantastic historical read after two weeks of Easter holidays where I’ve been mostly reading contemporary writing and non-fiction. It’s funny that I get drawn to books in waves, and after reading The Garden of Lost and Found I’m now on a real Historical Fiction mission and have been reading lots of The Cazalets novels, set in big houses with stunning gardens and family secrets as well.
The closed and mysterious world of Nightingale House was so intriguing and really allowed me to travel back in time through its pages. I really loved the way that Harriet Evans draws the reader in and keeps them guessing about the mystery surrounding the mysterious painting and the secrets of the past that Juliet begins to uncover and this made me turn the pages rapidly as I sought to uncover the mysteries of Nightingale House for myself. I found myself wondering about Ned and Liddy and what they might have looked like as they felt so real to me that I could almost imagine them coming to life…
I loved the juxtaposition of the family relationships through the years, especially regarding the idea of parenting. Nowadays most parents, bring up their children on their own, whereas in Liddy’s day most families of their status had an army of maids, nannies and servants to take care of their children and parents were distant remote, and sometimes intimidating figures. Liddy’s relationship with her own father is instrumental in the way that she herself chooses to bring up her own children and that is portrayed beautifully in the novel. The deftly portrayed relationship between Juliet and her children in the contemporary setting shows that modern parenting also has its challenges and family relationships are never easy to get right, whatever era you are growing up in. If you love an epic read, with generations of credible and compelling characters then you’ll really love The Garden of Lost and Found – I was a huge fan growing up of my mum’s Rosamund Pilcher, Penny Vincenzi and Elizabeth Jane Howard and this novel fits in perfectly with their immersive tales of history, intrigue and family secrets.
I absolutely loved The Garden of Lost and Found and enjoyed the fact that I was on holiday and could really dedicate some serious hours of reading to this fabulous read. I enjoyed the feeling of being immersed in this closed world where hidden secrets and unspoken questions tug away at your subconscious. I got so lost in this story that I stayed up far too late to finish it as I could not go to sleep without finishing it and immediately wanted my mum to read it too so we could have a long catch-up – I was really excited to see that one of my favourite fellow-bloggers, Joanne from Portobello Book Blog has just reviewed it and since we are meeting up on Saturday for a #BookBloggingBelles social, we’ll have the chance for a good chinwag about a read we both loved.
Writer On The Shelf
I live in London with my partner and our two daughters. I love books. We all love books in fact. My favourite authors are Elizabeth Jane Howard, Rosamunde Pilcher, Dorothy Whipple, Nancy Mitford and of course Georgette Heyer.
The books I love are ones that take you into a different world and wholly absorb you, about families and secrets and magical places. I write the books I want to read, that’s the most important thing of all. If you’d like to get in touch I’d love to hear from you. Please visit my website: http://www.harriet-evans.com/
Or follow me on Twitter @HarrietEvans