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Njoy their jobs and are surrounded by family and friends But for them both the door to true love remains resolutely closedSo when Lorna is introduced to Jack at a dinner party and Lucien catches Philly’s eye at the local farmers market it seems that dreams really can come true and happy endings lie just around the cor Lovely story

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A Secret Garden

Romance humour and happy ever after endings in Katie Fforde's brand new novel for 2017'What I want to know' said Lorna 'is what lies behind those ash trees at the back of the gardenLorna is a talented gardener and Philly is a plantswoman Together they work in the grounds of a beautiful manor house in the CotswoldsThey e 285 starsUsually I would search one of Katie Fforde s book whenever my reading mood started going to a slump Even though many said it was formulaic and all that I still loved all the nice characters and lovely scenesAnd usually Ms Fforde would explore one kind of career for her heroines and me as a reader would gain some information about the chosen path tooBut I was uite disappointed by this book Too many MCs in 3 generations couples and uite a diverse careers to explore I felt lost because it seemed they were all going nowhereI also thought that the title was only a wordplay How surprised I was when there was actually a secret garden And it was found when we were about 75% into the story And afterward things were turning magical with all the couples found their love of their life almost at the same time stumbling into each other I d rather sayNot her best works for me

Katie Fforde Ý 0 Summary

NerBut do theyTroublesome parents the unexpected arrival of someone from Lorna's past and the discovery of an old and secret garden mean their lives are about to become a lot complicatedThe deliciously romantic new novel from the No 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of A Vintage Wedding Recipe for Love and A French Affa I ve loved Katie Fforde s books for as long as I can remember and also look forward to each new publication come springtime each year Her books are always warm nice light reads ideal for curling up on the couch for a few hours lost in a good story She has written so many books and the majority always focus on a woman who is of a particular profession Last year s book A Summer at Sea focused on a woman who was a cook on a puffer boat in Scotland whereas in this new story A Secret Garden horticulture and gardens is the focus Like all her other books it was a nice gentle read and there was nothing wrong with the story itself but it just seemed to lack the sparkle of her previous books and I can t say it was my favourite read from this author I really don t like saying that considering I have loved everything else she has written but this one was missing something and I still can t put my finger on what it was I think if you are new to this author s writing A Secret Garden probably wouldn t be the book to start with That said I won t stop reading anything this author writes in particular I love her short story collections and will just leave this one as a slight blip in the road well in my mind anywayA Secret Garden follows two women Philly and Lorna At some points the way these characters were written I thought they were older than they were Philly is 23 and Lorna much older but she read as if she was around Philly s age It was only when a son of Lorna s is mentioned and then makes an appearance that I realised just how old she was I know this shouldn t bother me too much but it s just when you have built up a picture and sense of a character in your head and you re beginning to become invested in their storyline and then things change it disrupted the flow of the story for me and the images I had created Philly lives with her Grandfather Seamus both having run away from their overbearing family in Ireland to seek some solitude They bought an abandoned house with plenty of land and outbuildings where Seamus can bake to his hearts content and Philly can grow her plants and flowers to sell on her stallPhilly also sells plants to Lorna who works at Burthern House recreating the gardens for her long term friend Peter Peter and Lorna grew up together and Lorna harbours these long term feelings for Peter which are clearly not reciprocated Even when we discovered this and saw Peter had a new partner Karen I just wished Lorna would forget all about him and move on in her life to someone else There is no point procrastinating over someone you clearly can t have and never will have So it was nice to see a new male character make an appearance in the form of sculptor Jack who wants to be part of the exhibit being held in the gardens In some ways this friendshiptentative relationship felt very rushed and had little development then in others there was very little happening and I thought the reader had to fill in the gaps Truthfully I wasn t overly concerned what happened to either of them in the endPhilly was a good character whom you could see wanted to break free from the unrealistic expectations of her parents and follow her dream of working with plants and flowers She seemed willing to hep anybody that needed it whilst at the same time worrying about Seamus It was clear money was an issue as she took on waitressing jobs to keep everything afloat and this is where she meets chef Lucien and a spark is ignited Lucien in ways was similar to Philly in that he knew what he wanted in life but he just didn t have the means in which to achieve it given that like Philly in fact even firmly his parents were against what he wanted to do I suppose that was partly the connection that was drawing them towards each other but also they were at that point in their lives when they wanted to find that special someone Of course things never run smoothly and there were a few obstacles thrown in their path but yet they failed to hook me In my mind the best characters in this story were Seamus and Athena Peter s mother They were funny and sweet at the same time and brought some of the much missing sparkle to this book Their scenes were a joy to read and in a way they were slightly mischievousI haven t mentioned anything relating to the secret garden as mentioned in the title and I suppose that was the most frustrating thing for me in this read I kept waiting and waiting for this garden to materialise given that seemed to be the focus of the book when looking at both the title and blurb Only at the 75% mark was there any mention of it and by then it was far too late and not utilised properly it really should have been of a focus It could have brought the much needed sparkle to the book had it occurred far earlier in the story It just fell rather flat for me when it did come to light I m sorry to say and I say it with great reluctance but A Secret Garden isn t the best book Katie Fforde has written and I have read some other reviews where readers feel the same I hate saying this but I was disappointed with it given how much I had looked forward to reading it I rarely if ever use these words but it did become boring in places and although at the story was pleasant enough it just didn t capture my attention and keep me hooked until the end I don t like having that feeling reading a book of will this ever get going Sadly that is what I had here I don t think this is the most memorable of all the books the author has written given some of the wonderful stories I have read from her in the past but I will definitely read whatever she writes in the future


10 thoughts on “A Secret Garden

  1. says:

    It pains me to give a 3 star review to one of my favourite authors If Katie wasn't a beloved author of mine It might even have been a 2 star rating but simply because I have loved her other works I put it as a three But this just didn't live up to Katie's usually high standards for me Yes it was easy to read far too easy if I'm h

  2. says:

    After my last read all I wanted was a light feel good read I discarded a couple of books before turning to this one This story of Lorna and her young friend Philly who work in the grounds of a manor house in the Cotswolds is pure escapism and a lot of fun I liked the main characters of Lorna aged in her fifties a

  3. says:

    285 starsUsually I would search one of Katie Fforde's book whenever my reading mood started going to a slump Even though many said it was formulaic and all that I still loved all the nice characters and lovely scenesAnd usually Ms Ffo

  4. says:

    Lovely story

  5. says:

    Rating 355This is a light heartwarming cosy read and contains a several romances achieving their HEA thanks in part to the secret garden which i

  6. says:

    Lorna is a talented gardener and is restoring the grounds of a beautiful Cotswold manor house Philly lives nearby

  7. says:

    To be honest the only reason I bought this book was that upon turning the book to read its back cover I discovered that one of the critics’ superlatives stated that this book was a ’Modern day Austen’ That i

  8. says:

    I've loved Katie Fforde's books for as long as I can remember and also look forward to each new publication come springtime each year Her books are always warm nice light reads ideal for curling up on the couch for a few hours lost in a good story She has written so many books and the majority always focus on a woman who is of a particular profession Last year's book A Summer at Sea focused on a woman who was a cook o

  9. says:

    Two gardens three fledgling friendships that could turn into all wrapped up in a story that was very pleasurable to read Although t

  10. says:

    I have never been so blown away by snootiness and snobbery Even the names of the characters made me madPhilly Seamus Lorna and Lucien I have never been so ashamed that my name is plain old Emily The jobs the characters have it may as well have been from a children's nursery rhyme plants woman baker stone mason blah blah blah I was half expecting three blind mice to turn up There were certain lines in the book that were so pompous I though

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