This book was so beautifully written that it drew me into its pages and had me lost in the garden descriptions so well that I could imagine that I had actually visted Orley Court and met everyone who lived and worked there. You could picture perfectly every flower that was planted and the walled vegetable garden. I loved this description
” There was something very special about the countryside at dusk; it seemed to be breathing out, relaxing into itself after a long day.”
I totally felt as though I’d spent glorious days wandering around the gardens and was sitting at a bench at the end of the day just reflecting on the blissful day.
I loved the characters – Vanessa lives at Orley court with her dragon of a mother in law and her two daughters. Both are very arty girls- one loves painting and the other had a spell as the latest singing sensation. When Vanessa is made to realise that they need to sell part of the house to ensure it stays in their family, some very hard decisions have to be faced. Her mother in law particularly takes it badly as it didn’t happen under her ‘reign’ as lady of the manor.
The romance throughout the book is very sweet although you are wondering exactly what secrets are going to be revealed at some point. I loved the youth offender group working in the garden and the fact that there are wonderful people in this world who try to help those who may have made a bad decision at some point and help them to let their future not be blighted by the past.
The friendships between unlikely characters is heartwarming and adds extra dimension to them. I think my favourite was between Jassy and Marcus. I found her fascinating because she is on the autistic spectrum and some of the things she says are so believable- as they say it as they see it! I could imagine my daughter coming out with some of her phrases. I could also imagine her art studio in the oast house as if I was sitting with her- I wanted to look through the canvases.
My favourite flowers are white roses- so I also particularly loved this description ” White flowers are magical at night aren’t they?” Jonathan said.”It’s like they’ve captured the essence of the moon in their petals and are shining it back at the heavens”. White roses will always make me think of this phrase from now on.