The Last Garden in England Summary and Reviews

The Last Garden in England

by Julia Kelly

The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly X
The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2021
    368 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

From the author of the international bestseller The Light Over London and The Whispers of War comes a poignant and unforgettable tale of five women living across three different times whose lives are all connected by one very special place.

Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens' past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her ambitious work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House's treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.

In this sweeping novel reminiscent of Kate Morton's The Lake House and Kristin Harmel's The Room on Rue Amélie, Julia Kelly explores the unexpected connections that cross time and the special places that bring people together forever.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[E]njoyable and richly detailed...Kelly balances Emma's detective work reviewing papers and records found in the house with Venetia's slow-burn tragedy and the twist that defines Beth's relationship to the gardens. Kelly easily delivers everything her fans will expect." - Publishers Weekly

"[A] touching, immersive read with definite appeal for aficionados of Downton Abbey and Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows' The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2008)...Subplots involving love, loss, and hope for new beginnings gracefully intertwine, and readers will be enraptured by the garden theme...Like gardens themselves, these pages invite lingering and thoughtful reflection." - Booklist

"Kelly's decades-spanning story will appeal to gardeners and lovers of Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs." - Library Journal

"Julia Kelly's captivating novel, The Last Garden in England, is as immersive as it is enchanting...Historical fiction at its very best." - Patti Callahan, New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis

"Kelly's novel encompasses everything I love in historical fiction: a dramatic setting depicted so vividly I could've sworn I was strolling through the gardens of Highbury House as I turned the pages, and a series of stories that intertwine each other effortlessly, echoing the theme of love lost and found. A delight." - Fiona Davis, nationally bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

"Like the petals of Highbury House's enchanting roses, Julia Kelly's latest novel unfurls to reveal layered stories of long-lost secrets. The Last Garden in England is a compelling read, filled with loveable characters and an alluring twist of fates." - Ellen Keith, bestselling author of The Dutch Wife

This information about The Last Garden in England shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Julia Kelly

Julia Kelly is the award–winning author of books about ordinary women and their extraordinary stories. In addition to writing, she's been an Emmy–nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London.

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