Wednesday 26 April 2023

Guest Post: The Forgotten Garden by Sharon Gosling

Budding landscape architect Luisa MacGregor is stuck in a rut - she hates her boss, she lives with her sister, and she is still mourning the loss of her husband many years ago. So when she is given the opportunity to take on a parcel of land in a deprived area, she sees the chance to build a garden that can make the area bloom.
Arriving in the rundown seaside town of Collaton on the north-west coast of Cumbria, she realises that her work is going to be cut out for her. But, along with Cas, a local PE teacher, and Harper, a teen whose life has taken a wrong turn, she is determined to get the garden up and running.
So when the community comes together and the garden starts to grow, she feels her luck might have changed. Can she grow good things on this rocky ground? And might love blossom along the way…?

Review: Sharon Gosling is a writer of both children’s and adult fiction. I have read and immensely enjoyed her first two adult novels, both of which were set in Scotland. This new book is set in the north west of England and, as with the previous two novels, features a woman struggling to find her way in the world.

The story centres on Luisa MacGregor, who is still grieving for the husband who died in a tragic accident many years ago. She is unhappy stuck working in a job where she can’t fully use her undoubted talents as a landscape gardener and is taken for granted by her boss. When she is thrown a lifeline in the shape of a piece of land that once contained a factory and that she can develop as a community garden, she grabs it and begins a project that was originally dreamt up by her husband. In the small rundown seaside town of Collaton, she is helped in her efforts by local teacher Cas and reluctant teenager Harley. Even with their help, all is not plain sailing. However, bit by bit, she involves the initially resistant community in her project to turn the derelict plot into a thriving garden filled with colour and bounty. In the process, she also begins to come back to life herself and may even have found love once again.

I very much enjoyed this well-written and moving book and would definitely recommend it. The characters were all believable, even if I did not like some of them; I think that those guys will be obvious if you read the book. I was drawn to Luisa and admired her courage in starting a project with little initial support, wishing to fulfil her late husband’s dream. She had many obstacles to overcome and their were some tear-jerking moments in her story. However, to watch as things literally grew and the community came together was truly heartwarming. In my opinion, this is another triumph from this author and I shall be looking out for her next book.

To order your copy now, just click here!

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