What I liked about this book:
- It’s set in England. The descriptions of the country estate and the London museums were interesting to me.
- There is a mystery about the failing garden, something about a Kirkwood family curse. The idea if a mystery intrigued me.
- The descriptions of gardening and the ability to grow so many herbs, flowers and vegetables – how I wish I had that talent.
- The cover is colorful and invites you pick the book up for a quick look, especially if you are a sucker for a pretty book cover.
- There are passages about food throughout the book. Eggs with chives, Shepherd’s Pie, Roasted chicken with potatoes and veggies….. I prepared a Shepherd’s Pie as my representative dish. It’s the first meal Andrew prepared for Sorrel Sparrow.
What I didn’t care for:
Unbeknownst to me there was a previous book called The Sparrow Sisters. When I started reading The Forbidden Garden I felt like I was missing something, a backstory that wasn’t explained by the author. After looking online I saw there was a previous book. That would have fleshed out the characters more for me if I’d known and read it first. Mystery solved.
This book was advertised as “Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Sarah Jio, comes a lush imaginative novel that takes readers into the heart of a mysterious English country garden.” Well……..there is a garden in England and there is a bit of mystery but, not at all like Kate Morton in my opinion. That may come as a disappointment to some readers if they absolutely love Kate Morton, so I wanted to mention that. The mystery has more to do with enchantment….think about Alice Hoffman books instead.
The allusion to magic had me shrug my shoulders – Meh. Witchcraft wasn’t mentioned but it’s hinted at as an innate magical and mystical ability within each of the Sparrow sisters as they handle the soil in the gardens and make potions.
Predictable ending but that doesn’t always put me off a book. Sometimes you can figure it out and sometimes it’s obvious who the love interests and culprits will be.
Overall a solid B rating for the writing and descriptive passages.
Here is the vegetarian version of Shepherd’s Pie. Lots of beans and freshly cut vegetables. Now Andrew prepared a version using ground lamb. We have also done that and it’s quite good. That recipe may be found HERE.
About the author
Ellen Herrick lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a small seaside town very much like Granite Point. She spent nearly ten years in the book publishing business as a publicist before moving to to England where she raised three children and traveled like crazy. After sixteen years in London, it was the ocean that called her home.
- I won an advanced reader’s copy of this book from LibraryThing.
Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday