Synopsis:

Magical Cornwall, a lost garden, a love story from long ago…
Lamorna Cove – a tiny bay in Cornwall, picturesque, unspoilt. A hundred years ago it was the haunt of a colony of artists. Today, Mel Pentreath hopes it is a place where she can escape the pain of her mother’s death and a broken love affair, and gradually put her life back together.

Renting a cottage in the enchanting but overgrown grounds of Merryn Hall, Mel embraces her new surroundings and offers to help her landlord, Patrick Winterton, restore the garden. Soon she is daring to believe her life can be rebuilt. Then Patrick finds some old paintings in an attic, and as he and Mel investigate the identity of the artist, they are drawn into an extraordinary tale of illicit passion and thwarted ambition from a century ago, a tale that resonates in their own lives. But how long can Mel’s idyll last before reality breaks in and everything is threatened?

Shifting imperceptibly from one generation to another, The Memory Garden vividly evokes the lives of two women, born a century apart, but who face the same challenges to their happiness and survival.

I loved this novel ♥ This is the first Rachel Hore novel that I have read, and I am so glad I bought this book. I have already leant it out to others and reserved another book at the library by Hore. This is a beautiful novel set in rural Cornwall, full of history, love, secrets and flowers. The book follows Mel as she hides away in a secluded cottage under the pretence of writing a book about local artists, but really mending her broken heart. The man she has rented the cottage from, Patrick, is also suffering from a break-up, once where she won’t go away. They strike up a friendship over the garden, pulling it up and discovering new secrets of the old house Patrick lives in. Mel investigates the life of this mysterious artist, and in the process re-builds her own life.

This is just a stunning book that I can’t rate highly enough. While reading this I was reminded of both The Forgotten Garden and The Secret Garden. This book is a cross between the two, and as I loved both of them, this did not let me down. It is a simple story line: girl moves to Cornwall, discovers an old secret about a love affair, and falls in love herself, but I think the simplicity of the book is one of the things that makes it special. Along with the descriptions of both the bay where artists painted and the grounds and gardens of Merryn Hall, this was just beautiful.

This book did jump back to the past so we could learn about this secret artist – Polly, a maid, and her love affair. I enjoyed these sections – seeing how life can change for one girl, and what love can do to you. The history seemed accurate enough and I liked how the reader was given a glimpse into the time when the house was at its most majestic and that the reader was allowed to get to know Polly and the events surrounding her life.

There were some fantastic characters in the book, to go along with the great storyline and wonderful descriptions. I liked both Mel and Polly. I found myself empathising with them and wanting to know what was going to happen. I loved the people in the quiet town of Lamorna Cove that Mel meets. They were believable characters and people I would like to know! My favourite character was probably John the head gardener when Polly was at Merryn Hall though. Although we didn’t see a lot of him, he was strong and silent and as the novel unfolds his good nature comes through and he plays a very important role in what happens to Merryn Hall and its residents.

This was not a fast read, but very enjoyable. Like I said, I have been recommending this novel and lending my copy out because I really enjoyed it. It was a great read and for those who like woman’s books and historical novels, this is well worth reading. Top marks from me, I can’t recommend it enough.

Share on Facebook

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. The idea is simple: post about books coming out soon that you want to read!

Here is mine:

Promises, Promises by Erica James (no cover image yet)

I Must Stand Up for Myself More’ so promises Maggie Storm who spends her days cleaning houses for people who often have more money than manners. Married to a man with as much sex appeal as Mr Blobby, she dreams of a life straight from the pages of a romantic novel. ‘My Head Must Rule Over My Heart’ so promises Ella Moore who, determined never to let her heart get the better of her again, is recovering from seven wasted years of failing to win over the daughter of the man with whom she wanted to spend the rest of her life. ‘No More Women’ so promises Ethan Edwards who, to distract himself from the depressing sham of his marriage, is a repeat offender when it comes to turning to other women for sexual consolation. But when Ella appears unexpectedly in his life, he finds himself turning to her for very different reasons.

There are some books that have recently been released that I want to read:

Susannah and Rob were childhood sweethearts. But as with most early love affairs, they broke up, moved on and now find themselves in very different places. And not entirely happy – who is? A chance meeting between them sends shockwaves through their lives. What happens when your first love makes a surprise reappearance? Is fate telling you it’s time for a second chance…or should you simply walk away and let the past become ancient history? But Susannah and Rob just aren’t able to forget the way they were…and the world is about to realize the consequences of their reunion.

Everyone has a dream of their perfect house – in the heart of the countryside, or perhaps a stately residence in the middle of a wonderful city?

For Kate Hutchinson, the move to Suffolk from the tiny, noisy London terrace she shares with her husband Simon and their two young children is almost enough to make her dreams come true.

Space, peace, a rural pace of life have a far greater pull for Kate than the constantly overflowing in-tray on her desk at work.  Moving in with her mother-in-law must surely be only a temporary measure before the estate agent’s details of the perfect house fall through the letterbox.

But when Kate stumbles upon the house of her dreams, a beautiful place full of memories, it is tantalizingly out of reach.  Its owner is the frail, elderly Agnes, whose story echoes so much of Kate’s own.  And Kate comes to realize how uncertain and unsettling a life built on dreams can be – wherever you are, at whatever time you are living and whoever you are with.

Share on Facebook

Community Bookshop is hosting a little competition. You sign up and predict how many books you think you will read between the 18th June  and 30th August. I am aiming for 20 books – if not more! Progress will be logged here and on a new blog page:

  1. Terry Pratchett: A Hat Full of Sky
  2. Kate Harrison: Old School Ties
  3. Debbie Macomber: 44 Cranberry Point

This update comes to you on the 22nd June – only 4 days in. So far so good I think! And I am currently reading:

Share on Facebook

This is a meme run by Should Be Reading. Here is what you do:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

Rachel Hore: The Memory Garden

Page 208:

“She turned. And yet here he was. Patrick.”

OK I was sneaky and did three sentences, but they are short! Please leave a comment letting me know what you think and where I can find your teaser!

Share on Facebook

The deal: a week of just reading books from my To-Be-Read pile.

Diary:
Sunday:
Start challenge with 44 Cranberry Point by Debbie Macomber

Monday:
Finish 44 Cranberry Point by Debbie Macomber
Start Memory Garden by Rachel Hore

Share on Facebook

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. (taken from http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/)

Last Week’s Reading:

  • Voltaire: Candide
  • Sarah Dessen: Lock and Key
  • Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar
  • Terry Pratchett: A Hat Full of Sky
  • Kate Harrison: Old School Ties

Although I have been naughty and only written a review for one of those books! However, I have written these reviews:

I put two books aside this week as well:

  • Glenn Chandler: Dead Sight
  • Ian Marchant: In Southern Waters

So, what is happening this week? I have decided to only read books on my TBR pile. I’m starting with:

Debbie Macomber: 44 Cranberry Point

Other books I would like to read are:

Hopefully will be a fun week of reading! And the question is: what are you reading?

Share on Facebook