A Secret Garden Affair: From the Sunday Times bestselling author comes the most captivating new historical romance and family drama of 2023, perfect for fans of The Book of Beginnings!

£7.495
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A Secret Garden Affair: From the Sunday Times bestselling author comes the most captivating new historical romance and family drama of 2023, perfect for fans of The Book of Beginnings!

A Secret Garden Affair: From the Sunday Times bestselling author comes the most captivating new historical romance and family drama of 2023, perfect for fans of The Book of Beginnings!

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While all this jumping around in timeline and point of view could make, A Secret Garden Affair, more complicated to follow which could have made the layout better for the story arch, at the expense of the reader. We witness the passion for creating gardens that sees a character feeling at one with nature. And there is also a grande passion that not even death can break. Life is for living. We need to make the most of each day because we never know when life will be cruelly cut short. A Secret Garden Affair by Erica James is an enchanting dual timeline novel about love and life, guilt and grief, and memories that keep us warm at night.

A Secret Garden Affair Erica James 2023/2024 Release - Check A Secret Garden Affair Erica James 2023/2024 Release - Check

For me as one of those readers I felt that after a little difficulty at the start Erica James’s writing style did allow me to get into working out where in the story the novel was both in time frame and whose perspective it was being seen through. Suffolk, 1981: whilst the entire country seems gripped by Royal Wedding fever, Libby, the heroine of James’s 25th novel, wants to get as far away from it as possible, for on the brink of marrying her fiancé, she has discovered him in flagrante with her best friend. Libby takes refuge with two eccentric old ladies one can imagine on screen played by Maggie Smith and Judi Dench. One is her great-aunt Bess, a former lady’s maid, and the other Elfrida, a society beauty in the 1920s but a deeply unconventional one, who eschewed marriage to build a satisfying career as a garden designer, in the footsteps of Norah Lindsay and Gertrude Jekyll. Its blurb describes the novel as a ‘love story from long ago’, referring doubtless to Elfrida’s clandestine relationship with a glamorous White Russian – for this novel is really her story, entwined with that of the loyal Bess, who being of a different social class has had to face threats of another kind. However, it could equally well refer to Libby’s emotional troubles. We are introduced to three strong women whose stories are all entwined, we have Libby who was a bride to be until just before the wedding she walked in on her fiancé and bestfriend. Libby needed to escape and she knew the one place she could find comfort and support would be at Larkspur House with her great aunt Bess and Elfrida. A dual timeline book between the 1980’s & 1920’s, a very well written book which drew me in from the start & had me devouring this engrossing read in two sittings. Dual timelines are not my favourite but the author certainly did a very good job of changing my mind. The characters have depth & were well portrayed &the pace is good. There was friendship spanning decades, tragedy & secrets as well as some twists & surprises. A delightful read which I recommend

I loved travelling around the world in the past with Elfrida (and Bess) as she designs the gardens – the glitz and the glamour and the olde world feel. At home, during the war and afterwards, life is harsh but their indomitable spirits get them through. Erica James does this by having the main story take place during the Summer of 1981 at a time when the then Prince Charles was marrying his first wife Lady Diana Spencer, which gave the novel a fixed period in time. James floods this story with regret and aching loss, exploring how grief and misplaced guilt can divide families, and you feel every heart-wrenching moment with real force - especially the impact of these emotions on mental health. There is a lot of pain being carried around by these characters, and my heartstrings were well and truly tugged, but there is also romance, glamour, friendship and warmth - and over the course of the story the threads come together in forgiveness and hope. Another heartbreaking but glorious tale of secrets and love from the Sunday Times bestselling author Erica James…

A Secret Garden Affair by Erica James | Waterstones

There are some great characters to get your teeth into in this tale, but my favourites are Elfrida and Bess. A wonderful closeness grows up between them over the years after everything they have been through together, even though they begin the story in very different places socially. Elfrida has always been the unconventional rule breaker, misunderstood by almost everyone except Bess, and their fierce protectiveness of each other is enchanting. Their interactions give rise to many humorous and poignant episodes. As you can imagine, the secrets all have emotional punches so be prepared to feel a host of emotions! But for lifelong friends Bess and Elfrida, Libby's arrival has stirred up the ghosts of the past. And before they can help her rebuild her shattered future, they must confront their own secrets, lost loves, and tragedies… July 1981. As the country prepares to celebrate Prince Charles’ wedding to Lady Diana, Libby flees London – and her cheating fiancé Marcus – for the Suffolk countryside. But for lifelong friends Bess and Elfrida, Libby’s arrival has stirred up the ghosts of the past. And before they can help her rebuild her shattered future, they must confront their own secrets, lost loves, and tragedies…But for lifelong friends Bess and Elfrida, Libby’s arrival has stirred up the ghosts of the past. And before they can help her rebuild her shattered future, they must confront their own unspoken secrets, lost loves, and tragedies… This enticing cover had me excited to read this new release from Erica James. The books I have read by this author (so far!) have all been really enjoyable, but I found that this one didn’t capture my heart in quite the same way. I wonder if it is because it is a little similar to a recent book I have read: following a family over decades with secrets being revealed along the way. July, 1981. The country is working itself into a frenzy in the run-up to the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, but the last thing Libby wants to think about is weddings. Having just discovered, three weeks before their wedding, that her fiancé Marcus has been sleeping with her best friend Selina, Libby heads for the comforting presence of Larkspur House, the home of famous garden designer Elfrida Ambrose and Libby's great-aunt Bess - the only place where she has ever felt truly at home. The Secret Garden Affair immerses you in the world of beautiful gardens, and difficult family relationships through the eyes of three women - young Libby who has had her heart broken, and the two characters who have been a steady influence on her throughout her life, Elfrida and Bess. Libby heads to Larkspur House looking for stability as a time when she cannot trust her own feelings, but little does she know that former socialite Elfrida and her close friend (and her former lady's maid) Bess have been keeping secrets from her too. The author lives in Suffolk and is a keen gardener and this is clearly reflected in her descriptive writing.



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