Welcome to the Winter Garden. Open only at 13 o’clock.
You are invited to enter an unusual competition.
I am looking for the most magical, spectacular, remarkable pleasure garden this world has to offer.
On the night her mother dies, 8-year-old Beatrice receives an invitation to the mysterious Winter Garden. A place of wonder and magic, filled with all manner of strange and spectacular flora and fauna, the garden is her solace every night for seven days. But when the garden disappears, and no one believes her story, Beatrice is left to wonder if it were truly real.
Eighteen years later, on the eve of her wedding to a man her late father approved of but she does not love, Beatrice makes the decision to throw off the expectations of Victorian English society and search for the garden. But when both she and her closest friend, Rosa, receive invitations to compete to create spectacular pleasure gardens – with the prize being one wish from the last of the Winter Garden’s magic – she realises she may be closer to finding it than she ever imagined.
Now all she has to do is win.
My thoughts: as a little girl I believed fervently in magic and fairies and the power of wishes, a part of me still does. This beautiful, magical book contains all of those things, like a fairy tale for grown ups. It made me a little tearful to finish it because I would never be reading it for the first time again and falling under its spell.
It is also about the power of friendship – that between Rosa and Beatrice and James. A vital enduring bond that helps them all through dark times and leads them to happiness in its different forms.
A truly wonderful, beautiful story, heartwarming and full of magic and marvels.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.