The Lost Garden

The Lost Garden

by Katharine Swartz

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Overview

The Lost Garden by Katharine Swartz

Present and past residents of a countryside English vicarage search for love



Marin Ellis is in search of a new start after her father and his second wife die in a car accident leaving her the guardian of her fifteen-year-old half-sister, Rebecca. They choose the picturesque village of Goswell on the Cumbrian coast and settle into Bower House, the former vicarage, on the edge of the church property. When a door to a walled garden captures Rebecca’s interest, Marin becomes determined to open it and discover what is hidden beneath the bramble inside. She enlists the help of local gardener Joss Fowler, and together the three of them begin to uncover the garden’s secrets.



In 1919, nineteen-year-old Eleanor Sanderson, daughter of Goswell’s vicar, is grieving the loss of her beloved brother Walter, who was killed just days before the Armistice was signed. Eleanor retreats into herself and her father starts to notice how unhappy she is. As spring arrives, he decides to hire someone to make a garden for Eleanor, and draw her out of—or at least distract her from—her grief and sorrow. Jack Taylor is in his early twenties, a Yorkshire man who has been doing odd jobs in the village, and when Eleanor’s father hires him to work on the vicarage gardens, a surprising—and unsuitable—friendship unfolds.



Deftly weaving the dual narratives, Katharine Swartz explores themes of loyalty and love through her memorable characters and strong sense of place.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782641377
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Publication date: 06/27/2015
Series: Tales from Goswell Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,055,739
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

After spending three years as a diehard New Yorker, Katharine Swartz now lives in the Lake District with her husband, an Anglican minister, their five children, and a Golden Retriever. She enjoys such novel things as long country walks and chatting with people in the street, and her children love the freedom of village life—although she often has to ring four or five people to figure out where they’ve gone off to!


She writes women’s fiction as well as contemporary romance for Mills & Boon Modern under the name Kate Hewitt, and whatever the genre she enjoys delivering a compelling and intensely emotional story.

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The Lost Garden 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
PianoLady831 More than 1 year ago
The Lost Garden by Katharine Swartz is a moving story with beautiful prose, rich characterization, and an atmospheric quality - simply my kind of relationship drama. This is an emotional story involving two sets of sisters - Marin and Rebecca in contemporary times, and Eleanor and Katherine almost 100 years earlier - both occupying the same plot of land and both dealing with grief. Every chapter alternates between Marin and Eleanor's voice, in a way that was never confusing, and I was equally invested in both stories, loving the way they connected. This is a character-driven story, and readers won't find fast-paced action or passionate chemistry between the characters, yet the emotions simmer beneath the surface. Foundations are laid during the first several chapters, with the pace picking up and building to a powerful and beautiful ending. Thanks to Katharine's quality writing, I was caught up in the vividly-conveyed Cumbria setting, which felt like a major character, and given much cause for reflection. Beginning shortly after the signing of the Armistice in 1918, Eleanor's story was especially compelling as she faced the effects of war - from the death of a loved one to the inexplicable changes in those who returned . . . "The men who did come back were not the same as those who had left. . . . These men were gaunt, hollow-eyed strangers; some of them missing limbs, others blind or scarred. And even the ones with no visible wounds at all still seemed different - somehow less." When it comes to drama, there's just something special about British characters and settings. It was easy for me to connect with these characters as they struggled with loss and not knowing how to just "be." The Lost Garden is real and honest, but not depressing, and spiritual themes are woven throughout. I hope to read more books by Katharine Swartz. Highly recommended to those who enjoy relational drama with rich characterization. Thank you to Kregel Publications for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
LilacDreams More than 1 year ago
Marin Ellis was eight years old when her mother died, and her father sent her away to boarding school. Ever after, she figured he didn’t love her. Now he and his second wife have died, leaving 15-year-old Rebecca as Marin’s ward. The half sisters buy an old house in Cumbria, on England’s northwest coast, and discovered a walled garden that hasn’t been opened in years. Eleanor Sanderson’s father was vicar during World War I. She anticipated the end of the war would mean everything would go back to the way life had been before. But her brother Walter died in the final days. Nothing will ever be the same again. She needs something to do, and decides to restore the vicarage garden. Marin is glad for a fresh start in life and with gardener Joss Fowler, works on the mystery of the lost garden. Joss helps her learn to become more adventurous. She thinks they’re becoming good friends when he suddenly turns elusive. Eleanor also found happiness with a gardener, but in a class-conscious society, they’re unsuitable. Both men harbor secrets, and need fresh starts of their own. Both threads of the story are compelling. Times have changed in one hundred years, but Marin and Eleanor share the desire for love.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Katherine Swartz in her new book, “The Lost Garden” Book Two in the Tales from Goswell series published by Kregel Publications introduces us to Marin Ellis and Eleanor Sanderson. From the back cover: Present and past residents of a countryside English vicarage search for love Marin Ellis is in search of a new start after her father and his second wife die in a car accident leaving her the guardian of her fifteen-year-old half-sister, Rebecca. They choose the picturesque village of Goswell on the Cumbrian coast and settle into Bower House, the former vicarage, on the edge of the church property. When a door to a walled garden captures Rebecca’s interest, Marin becomes determined to open it and discover what is hidden beneath the bramble inside. She enlists the help of local gardener Joss Fowler, and together the three of them begin to uncover the garden’s secrets. In 1919, nineteen-year-old Eleanor Sanderson, daughter of Goswell’s vicar, is grieving the loss of her beloved brother Walter, who was killed just days before the Armistice was signed. Eleanor retreats into herself and her father starts to notice how unhappy she is. As spring arrives, he decides to hire someone to make a garden for Eleanor, and draw her out of—or at least distract her from—her grief and sorrow. Jack Taylor is in his early twenties, a Yorkshire man who has been doing odd jobs in the village, and when Eleanor’s father hires him to work on the vicarage gardens, a surprising—and unsuitable—friendship unfolds. Deftly weaving the dual narratives, Katharine Swartz explores themes of loyalty and love through her memorable characters and strong sense of place. Let me start out by saying I like “The Lost Garden”. This is a story about growing new life and starting over. Rebecca just wants to start over. She doesn’t want to be pitied as the girl who just lost both her parents in a car accident. Marin wanted a new start and she certainly has it not only with Rebecca but with the new cottage as well. Together they discover the garden and begin to tend it back to life. That’s when they find that Eleanor created the garden to start over after her brother dies. This is a wonderful story that shows that life can begin again if you are willing to put the effort into what you value as important in your life. Marin, Rebecca and Eleanor are wonderful characters that we come to care about and want to succeed. Katherine Swartz is an extremely talented writer who really knows how to tell a story that will grab you and keep you flipping pages until you reach the end. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Theophilusfamily More than 1 year ago
"The Lost Garden" is a very dear story, told with fine attention to detail. It's a story broad enough to contain the troubles of life and to show the tenderness of love. It may wrench your heart a bit, but it will put it back in place stronger than it was before. Two sets of sisters, living in the same place, but one hundred years apart. Eleanor and Katherine right after the Armistice in 1919, and Marin and Rebecca in modern times. Both pairs are dealing with loss, trying to feel their way back to something good and safe and lasting. Their stories connect when Marin finds a lost garden and feels an urge to restore it. It was a similar urge- to work with her hands and her imagination to create a sanctuary space- that led Eleanor to establish the garden in the first place. The first half of this book moves deliberately and without a wasted moment, much the way you begin a garden. You work carefully, with a goal in mind, and every step you take matters later in the season. Then, mid-way through, the story gains sudden intensity (everything begins to flower and fruit, as it were) and the final half had me riveted. Both lives- Eleanor's and Marin's- were drawn so carefully. I could see their hearts, and in one or two spots I could feel their emotions. I recognized myself in them as they looked at the world and wondered how they could make a good life. I'm delighted to add this book to my shelf beside Swartz's earlier novel, "The Vicar's Wife." I thank Kregel for providing me with a review copy.
LaurenYarger More than 1 year ago
Two stories set a century apart intertwine in Katharine Swatrz's "The Lost Garden," the second book in her Tales from Goswell series. In the present, Marin Ellis assumes guardianship of her younger half-sister, Rebecca after the death of their father and Rebecca's mother. Unsure what direction to take in her own life, Marin yields to Rebecca's plea to give them a fresh start by purchasing Bower House, a former vicarage in England's West Cumberland. A locked door to an apparent lost garden intrigues the sisters and they are enveloped by its history. Meanwhile, the garden's origins and the post-World-War-I lives of the home's previous inhabitants, Eleanor Sanderson, the vicar's daughter and her sister, Katherine unfold as men return from battle and people try to resume their lives. The two tales skillfully are shared intermittently with every other chapter so that the stories unfold simultaneously, but without the jarring that sometimes can occur when the timeline shifts in novels. We also don't get a chance to forget what is happening in one story before moving on to the second. Similarities surface in the stories as we see how the sisters learn to relate to each other and to the other people in their lives. Marin and Eleanor also have father/daughter issues to work through as well as how to work through grief. And of course there is some romance. The stories are fairly predictable, but in a pleasant way. I hadn't read the first book -- this sequel stands on its own -- but I had been drawn to the book because of its "secret garden" plot. I wasn't disappointed. The book impressed me with its well written dialogue, often using vernacular, and Swartz's strong descriptive style with metaphor that puts us in the setting and gives clear understanding of what the characters are experiencing. A nice example: "Carefully she lifted her skirt and moved through the garden. She had never walked the full length of the place, and now she studied the old slate path that had been buried under the soil and which Jack had scraped clean. He'd shown her the path when he'd first cleared it . . . and Elanor had studied them scrupulously, simply to have a moment alone with Jack." Touches of faith add to the characters, but are not overbearing. Makes me want to go read the first novel, The Vicar's Wife, also dual stories separated by decades. A free copy of this book was provided by the publisher at my request.
ChatWithVera More than 1 year ago
As I began the book, it struck me as being intensely depressing. I sensed desperation, death, despair. I thought to myself that this was not particularly the type of book I would typically choose, and not what I expected The Lost Garden story to hold for the reader based on the description of the book. However, I persisted. The setting is on a plot of land that shared a history with a monastery prior to the Reformation. The church, the vicar's residence, and a cottage for another feature the enclosed garden gone to ruin are the dwellings for the families of both timelines. While the author doesn't delve back into pre-reformation days for this story, it is two stories from different decades running throughout. This seems to be a favorite technique of writers which some readers find daunting as the story switches back and forth. It adds interest, but is not a favorite style of mine. As I continued to read on, I found myself feeling the heart of the characters and of the village in which they lived. The cutting of weeds and brambles unearthed more than a former garden. This is a warm story but has depth of meaning and characters as everyday as your neighbor might be. The setting is England (UK) and many terms and names of items and activities may be somewhat strange to the American audience. This does not detract at all from the reading. DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are solely mine. I received no compensation for this review.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
When I was growing up, I loved the story of the Secret Garden, not sure if it has to do with the secrecy of having a place you can go to that no one else does or if there is something about watching the things you plant grow and flourish into a thing of beauty, but lovers of that premise will love the newest novel from Katharine Swartz, The Lost Garden. It parallels two different time periods so it's hard to classify it as a contemporary or historical, because it is both. One is contemporary present day involving the lives of Marin Ellis, who is now the caretaker of her half sister Rebecca after the death of her father and his second wife. Together they are embarking on a journey of sorts between finding a common place in their new relationship together that was thrust upon them by circumstance. Not having a starting place aside from having the same father, the age differences impact them as well, with Marin having to try to find a way to be not really a mother to Rebecca but one of authority in a way without the title, and at the same time, becoming a friend and sister as well. Their common ground at this point is when Rebecca insists on a clean start for her own life, as she is now a bit of a loner and doesn't want the stigma attached to her as something to be pitied by her friends at school and hopes for a new outlook on life with the purchase of a vicar's cottage in the village of Goswell, where they find a garden locked almost hidden behind a wall that has been clearly neglected. As the two make plans to find a way to bring life back into their garden, they discover a long history to the ones that originally created it from the 1900's, when we learn that Eleanor Sanderson, who was the daughter of the Goswell's vicar who created this garden in an attempt to find healing and a new way of life after losing her brother Walter during the war. It will be a story that is timeless as it crosses the boundary of two different lives and two different periods in history that shows that life can begin again if you are willing to put the effort into what you value as important in your life. It can be quite life changing in remarkable ways. I received The Lost Garden by Katharine Swartz compliments of Lion Hudson and Kregel Publications for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my honest review aside from a free copy of this novel and the opinions contained are strictly my own. I absolutely loved this novel because I have found myself to be quite the gardener as well, and successfully have created two very different gardens over the past 10 years. For me, they are a place to understand what is really important, a place of birth, growth and beauty, and that is what you find in the two stories between the Ellis's and Sanderson's that almost everyone can find something they can relate to! I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion and look to future novels from Katharine Swartz in the future. The Lost Garden is the second book in the Tales from Goswell series and for me, I'll be looking for The Vicar's Wife, the first book in this series!
TheAvidReader_KA More than 1 year ago
The Lost Garden by Katharine Swartz is a novel that goes between modern day and just after World War I in England. Eleanor Sanderson is nineteen years old and upset over the loss of her brother in the last week of the war. Eleanor is out of sorts and not sure what to do with herself in this new world after the war. She works on creating a beautiful garden with Jack Taylor. Her father is the local parish priest and they live in the vicarage in Goswell. Her grandmother lives in Bower House next door. Marin Ellis (37) just became the guardian of her half-sister, Rebecca (15) since the death of their father and his wife. Rebecca inherited all of the money from the estate (can you believe that?). Marin and Rebecca need a change. They had been on a vacation when the stumble across Bower House in Goswell. Rebecca loves it and is excited about something (which is the first time since the death of her parents). They move and find a walled in garden. The door to the garden is stuck and they see a lot of brambles. They eventually get into the garden and discover an unusual building in the middle of the garden. What was the building for and what happened to the garden? Marin sets out to research who owned the garden and what was the unique building. Marin also sets out to restore the gardens with the help of Joss Fowler. Joss owns Fowler and Son Landscaping. Marin and Rebecca find peace in Bower House as they recover from their grief and start getting to know each other. We additionally get to find out what happened to Eleanor. The book goes back and forth from the present with Rebecca and Marin to the past with Eleanor and her garden (as Marin researched the garden and its history). I truly enjoyed reading The Lost Garden. It is a charming tale. I give The Lost Garden 4 out of 5 stars. I received a complimentary copy of The Lost Garden from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.