Sarah has given up her career and moved to the countryside to bring up her two young children, while her husband works long hours in London. Alone, she explores the fields and the woods near her home and discovers a lake, a memorial bench for a boy who drowned in mysterious circumstances, and Finn, a beautiful troubled teenager who plays truant from school. As Sarah pieces the mystery together, an uncomfortable attraction between her and Finn builds. She knows that this blossoming relationship is wrong but the chemistry between them is difficult to resist. Their relationship reaches a climax over one hot summer, threatening to destroy everything that she holds dear. Woven into Sarah’s story are the voices of two other women connected to her family – Maggie, the RAF nurse and Flavia, the Italian girl. As their stories unfold, a secret is revealed, binding Sarah and Finn in a way that they would never guess.
This isn’t the typical type of book I would go for but there was something about the book description that really appealed to me and it didn’t disappoint.
The story flicks between present day and chapters from the past leading back up to present day. Whilst in present day it focuses on Sarah, a wife and mother to two small boys, the past features a variety of characters whose lives are all entwined in someway. It made me wonder what the story was leading up to and how it was connected to Sarah.
Having left the hustle and bustle of London for a better quality of life in the country, Sarah is finding it harder to adjust. I felt empathy for this woman with two young children who was pretty much running the house and looking after the boys whilst her husband commutes to London for work. There is something about the area and in particular a lake which has a memorial bench that has a pull on Sarah as well as a teenager who sends her head into turmoil.
There is a real sense of setting within the story and the author paints a vivid and beautiful picture in my head of the house Sarah lives in as well as the surrounding area. As well as Sarah, I found Finn such an intriguing character and was eager to find out more about him. He’s a bit of a tortured soul and it sent my mothering instinct into overdrive!
The Water Garden is a wonderfully and enticing story which had me wholly absorbed. It’s set at a gentle pace and yet I struggled to put it down as I was so engrossed in these characters lives and wanted to learn more. It’s a story filled with an air of suspense, spread out over a span of years with secrets and untold truths. A beautiful and engaging read by a new talent to me of which I can’t wait to read more from.
My thanks to Muswell Press for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.