I’m a big fan of Rosanna Ley’s books and this was no exception; in fact, it’s one of my favourites. The characters are instantly believable, the descriptions sumptuous and the whole story is perfectly tensioned between three viewpoint characters and two timelines.
The story is told from the points of view of Lara (in the 1940s and present day), her daughter Rose, and her granddaughter Bea, and it revolves around two very special gardens. The first is in Dorset, created by Lara’s mother based on the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement. It is this garden that Lara promises her mother to protect, which is the starting point for the drama that follows. The second garden is one that Lara later creates in Puglia.
The relationships between the women – and their gardens – are beautifully drawn. That Lara left the Dorset garden behind is evident from the outset, but in the hands of such a skilled storyteller, my desire to find out the whys and wherefores made it hard to put the book down. The Forever Garden will not only transport you from Dorset to Italy and back, it’s a journey you cannot fail to enjoy.