on September 13th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Kobo
Step inside this beautiful novel to discover friendships, secrets and romance … When Philly starts a new job, working with Lorna in the gorgeous grounds of a beautiful manor house, it marks a turning point in both of their lives.
Philly has never been in love before and is constantly disappointing her mother with her unwillingness to settle down. But all that changes when she meets Lucien, a free spirit with an intriguing past …
Lorna is learning to embrace life on her own, until dashing Jack sweeps her off her feet in a whirlwind romance. But is this what Lorna really wants?
When the two women discover a secret garden in the manor house grounds, they are encouraged to restore its forgotten beauty in time for an unforgettable end of summer party. As they work together, secrets are revealed and relationships tested. Will they both find the happy endings they are looking for?
Set against a stunning backdrop, this utterly charming and romantic story is certain to make you smile. Perfect for fans of Susan Mallery, Mary Kay Andrews and Debbie Macomber.
Read what everyone is saying about Katie Fforde: ‘Utterly beautiful … enjoyable to read from start to finish … perfect for packing on your holiday to relax with.’ Chloe’s Chick Lit Reviews
'The perfect summer read ... a well-crafted, intelligently written book.' Hello!
‘Deliciously witty and romantic.’ Marian Keyes
‘Chatty, feel-good romance.’ Kirkus Reviews
‘If you're after an escapist novel that fizzes with warmth and wit, then this is perfect.’ Daily Express
'Katie Fforde's brilliance shines through in this warm novel.' Star
'A heart-warming, uplifting and beautifully written story.' Essentials
'A captivating and romantic read.' Closer
‘It’s a delightfully engaging read.’ Sunday Express
‘Loved, loved, loved this book! Read in 4 days and now I'm bereft as it’s all over!’ Goodreads reviewer
‘I adored this book ... I read over a couple of sleepless nights and thoroughly enjoyed every single morsel.’ The Reading Shed
'Chocolate box perfect ... *Happy sigh* right here!' Sparkly Word
‘Fforde has imagination to spare, using witty writing and plotting to build a story.’ New York Times Books Review
‘A supremely engaging book from the doyenne of contemporary romance….it is Fforde’s characters that give this book its irresistible emotional pull…a thoroughly modern tale of love, career and family, perfect for a relaxing afternoon on the sofa.’ The Lady
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
A Secret Garden is a stand alone novel by Katie Fforde.
It’s a very sweet story focusing on firm friends, Lorna, a landscape gardener, and Philly, a woman described in the book as a plantswoman. Both are single, Lorna, in her late 50s is a widow with a grown up son, Philly is in her early 20s and is a virgin. They both would love to be in a relationship again and both have somebody in their sites.
Lorna has known Peter, a local Estate owner, for years. They are the best of friends although Lorna has been in love with him for a long time. She works for him, slowly but surely getting the gardens back to their former glory. When she meets Jack, a local stonemason she is shocked to find herself not thinking of Peter, but thinking of Jack instead.
Philly works a market stall to sell her plants and her grandfather’s cakes. Across from her, there is a cheese stall, and the man that runs it, Lucien, is the one that she quite fancies.
The stories of these very two different women and how their relationships develop with their men make for a really pleasant read. The backdrop of their stories being the restoration of the gardens on the large estate is a fascinating subject, especially if you have a liking for either old gardens and/or beautiful plants.
The backgrounds of our couples are explained beautifully and although there are a lot of reasons why they think they can’t be together, there are many more reasons why they should. It’s really lovely to read how they try to overcome their obstacles.
What I really enjoyed about this story is that despite Lorna being in her late 50s she wasn’t written as an old woman. She comes across as a fun loving woman, who is quite capable of things like using the Internet and texting a boyfriend. Most of the time I even forgot that she was supposed to be near retirement age.
Philly on the other hand, sometimes she came across as a child, mainly when she would think about that ‘boy’ that she fancies, Lucien. Both in their 20s I think they could easily be thinking of each other as a man and a woman, not as a boy and a girl.
This story had a lovely message to tell, because not only do we have Lorna and Jack, and Philly and Lucien’s relationships to enjoy, there is also another relationship happening quietly in the background. This whole book says out loud that people can find and keep love at any age, young, middle-aged, or old. There is somebody out there for everybody.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.