Take Ten: How Does Your “Garden” Grow?

flower-garden-634578_960_720It’s finally springtime here in the Magic Valley (we’ll just conveniently forget this past Tuesday’s snowstorm – after all, it melted the next day…), so I’m sure we’ll start to see everyone out in their yards/gardens soon. But, just in case you like the idea of a beautiful landscape without any of the work, pick up one of these books featuring “garden” in the title. Maybe they’ll inspire you – or at least encourage you to get outside!

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FICTION:

The Forgotten Garden – Kate Morton

  • Abandoned on a 1913 voyage to Australia, Nell is raised by a dock master and his wife who do not tell her until she is an adult that she is not their child, leading Nell to return to England and eventually hand down her quest for answers to her granddaughter.

Garden Spells – Sarah Addison Allen

  • A successful caterer in Bascomb, North Carolina, Claire has always remained tied to the legacy of the Waverly family, until her peaceful life is transformed by Tyler Hughes, an art teacher and new next-door neighbor, and by the return of her prodigal sister, Sydney.

The Girl in the Garden – Kamala Nair

  • A conflicted young woman seeks clarity about her impending marriage by remembering a childhood summer when she discovered a long-hidden secret while visiting her mother’s ancestral home in an Indian village outside a mysterious jungle.

Lost Garden – Helen Humphreys

  • Leaving war-stricken London in 1941, Gwen Davis volunteers for the Land Army in the Devon countryside where she oversees a group of girls who plant crops for the war effort beside a regiment of Canadian soldiers.

Savage Garden – Mark Mills

  • Assigned to write about a famous sixteenth-century garden, Cambridge scholar Adam Strickland visits the garden only to discover that the woman to whom the garden was dedicated may have been murdered, a finding that points to a more recent killing.

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NONFICTION:

Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime – Kenneth I. Helphand

  • Looks at how natural spaces are created, even in times of war, including the gardens found in WWI trenches, ghettos in WWII, and Japanese internment camps.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin – Erik Larson

  • Documents the efforts of the first American ambassador to Hitler’s Germany, William E. Dodd, to acclimate to a residence in an increasingly violent city where he is forced to associate with the Nazis while his daughter pursues a relationship with Gestapochief Rudolf Diels.

In the Devil’s Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food – Stewart Lee Allen

  • Provides a history of forbidden foods through the ages that examines how such foods–including the tomato, apple, chocolate, and potato–and their morally corrupting nature defined various cultures around the world.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story – John Berendt

  • In charming, beautiful, and wealthy old-South Savannah, Georgia, the local bad boy is shot dead inside of the opulent mansion of a gay antiques dealer, and a gripping trial follows.

Queen Elizabeth in the Garden: A Story of Love, Rivalry, and Spectacular Gardens – Trea Martyn

  • In sixteenth century England, extravagant formal gardens reached their peak of invention, with not only roses, honeysuckle and herbs, but the addition of canals, mazes, and aviaries. Much of the inspiration was competition for the attention of Queen Elizabeth I by two of her courtiers, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and William Cecil, Baron of Burghley.

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BONUS:

Don’t forget the classic, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the story of ten-year-old Mary who comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.

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Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus, a great database for readers. Log in with your TFPL card and discover series information, author bios, suggestions, reviews, and more!

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