This was a read recommended to me by a fellow blogger – and an excellent read it was too. The author gently guided you through the story of the making of the garden for the family with secrets and tragedies, whilst some you got an early inkling of, others kept you guessing until the end.
Beginning in the early decade of the 1900’s, Isabelle had inherited her families welsh coal mines, her husband was a philandering artist, resentful of his wife’s wealth and control; annoyed at the recent public scandal she brings her family to the home from the past. Her project now is to have a beautiful garden and she knows just who to help her, the dashing besotted Phillip Cordell. With the gardner/groundskeeper and his family the only other people for what feels like miles the two families become close. As the garden takes its shape the youngest child becomes racked with night terrors and fear, her father no where to be found presumed to have returned to London. War brings changes to the home, especially as the doting mother does what she can to prevent her only son being called up by positioning him with the coal mining company. After the war, with attitudes changing, the miners strikes, demonstrations, fights and protests come right to the door of Isabelle destroying more than her beloved garden.
In 2001 Colin and Kim are camping illegally in a corner of the grounds, excavating the area, trying to piece together what was where in the garden, their only reference is an article from an old gardening magazine [think The Lady or Country life]. Colin discovers bones, knuckle bones and then larger tibia, they surely must be human and what is their story. One night they see a light coming from the terrace, they are not the only trespassers, what does this other person want here?