The Garden of Lost and Found by Harriet Evans Review

“The future is yet unwritten; the past is burnt and gone.”

The Garden of Lost and Found is set in both the early 1900s and present day. Juliet is an art historian with three children, she’s struggling to juggle her work life, family and marriage. At work the sketch of a famous and lost painting is being sold for milions. The painting was created by Juliet’s great-grandfather Ned Horner. Shortly before he died he went mad and burned the original painting so all that is left is the sketch. After the auction Juliet gets told that they are letting her go. She goes home in a daze and discovers that her husband has been having an affair with one of her neighbours.

Her whole life has been thrown upside down, until Juliet recieves a letter and a key to an old house which was formerly owned by her grandmother. The house where The Garden of Lost and Found was painted. Juliet makes the brave decision to move there and take her children. They have a tricky adjustment period as the children are used to living in the middle of London.

We also flash back to Juliet’s great-grandparent’s lives. Liddy and Ned weren’t always happy in their beautiful house. Ned was a struggling artist, he hardly had any money. He met Liddy through her brother. Liddy and her sister Mary lived a terrible life in the clutches of their evil father and housekeeper. She used to lock the girls away with no food to punish them for goodness knows what. Liddy snuck out to see Ned but was discovered, she then spent months locked away, brainwashed into thinking she was a terrible person.

Eventually the couple found their way back to each other, their friend and architect Dalbeattie built their home for them, it had been Liddy’s mother’s home but Ned and Dalbeattie had to rebuild the inside. I love how the house is described as never being owned by people, like it has its own thoughts. Liddy has two children and the family is happy there for a time. The famous painting is of the children sitting in the garden with wings on their backs, the flowers blooming all around them and Liddy in the background.

The way the author descibes the house and the garden, especially Juliet’s day to day life there actually made me want to live in the counrtyside. Which is quite rare, the thought of the quiet and empty spaces always used to scare me. I love reading the different generations and their experiences with the house. The mystery surrounding the house and the painting is always in the back of my mind. the story is full of surprises and twists. I was surprised even right at the end. 

“I am glad of these scars. I am afraid when my sister says they have started to fade, for with them I am untouchable. I am safe from the attention of any man. I am the lucky one.”

 

Top Five Tuesday – Bookish Habits

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. This week’s topic is bookish habits, I’ve never really thought about my reading habits before and I’m excited to read other people’s as well.

1. Always use a bookmark

It doesn’t have to be a proper bookmark, cardboard tags work. But I would never be able to remember the page number and folding down the corner of the page will damage the book. I have got a load of back up bookmarks as well just in case I need them!

2. Rarely read in silence

I use music to help me concentrate, I couldn’t watch something on tv and read that would be too confusing but music helps block out other noises, especially when I’m on the train to/from work.

3. Keep my books safe in my bag with a sleeve

My sister got me a sleeve or as I call a sleeping bag for Christmas a couple of years ago and I love it so much. I take a book to work everyday and before I struggled to protect them but now they could be new, it stops the corners bending or fraying, it’s wonderful.

4. Read at work over lunch

I have an hour to kill, I don’t know what else I could do. It lets me escape and helps me be calm for the afternoon if I’ve had a good read. And it allows me to process the book and what I just read better because I have to stop every now and then.

5. I often hug my books when I finish them

If I loved the book or it had an emotional ending, I will give it a hug. Mainly as a thank you and also I feel as if I’m hugging the characters.

Please share some of your bookish habits, I’m really intrigued!

Mid February Catch Up

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all having a good February so far! I had a bit of a difficult week last week, I’ve been feeling really faint/dizzy, I’m waiting to have a blood test done so 🤞🏻 that will shed some light!

Anyway I’ve been reading, watching and listening to some great things for the past month and I thought I’d share them with you!

Reading:

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The Long Cosmos by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

It’s the last book in the Long Earth series and one of the last books Terry wrote which is making me really emotional. I am loving this book, they have tied things together really nicely. There is a message being broadcast from somewhere in stars and no one knows where it is coming from “Join us” it says, all of the Long Earth can hear it…I’ve almost finished and I’ll write a full review soon.

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I do love a good classic, especially if I can actually follow what’s going on! Some are just too much for my brain but Little Women is lovely, Amy really gets on my nerves but Jo is such a rebel it makes up for having to read about Amy. I’m pretty sure I read it when I was younger but I understand it a lot better now!

Watching:

Game of Thrones season 3Image result for game of thrones season 3 poster

This might be an unpopular opinion but I think the show peaked at season 3…George R.R. Martin stopped writing episodes after this season so I think that has something to do with it. A lot of this season makes me cry…I haven’t got to the Red Wedding yet I’ve been putting it off. I can still remember the shock and horror when I watched that for the first time.

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Star Trek Discovery season 2

This show is so epic, I’ve never seen any other Star Trek series or films, I started watching because Sonequa Martin-Green is incredible and I am so glad I did. This season has only just started but it’s already brilliant, there are alien angels appearing out of nowhere to save people and Spock has been having visions of them since he’s a child. But he’s missing…the characters on this are so well written, I’m excited for the rest of the season!!

Image result for one day at a time season 3 posterOne Day At A Time season 3

This show is so important!! It’s also really funny, the characters are so perfect and they talk about really important issues about race, gender, sexual orientation, feminism etc. Elena is probably my favourite but the whole family is loveable and brilliant.

 

 

Image result for 12 monkeys season 1 poster12 Monkeys season 1

I stumbled across this series on Netflix, it’s set in 2043, a horrible plague was released into the world in 2017 and most of the population died. A team of scientists managed to build a machine that can send someone back in time to stop it! We follow Cole to 2015 where he meets Dr Raley and they try to stop the virus from being released. But it’s more complicated than just killing one man, Cole has to make more jumps than he expected. It’s a really gripping series and I love apocalyptic stories, I find them fascinating. It is scary that these evil people are trying to kill almost all of humanity though!!

Listening:

37903770Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (audiobook)

I’ve recently got into audiobooks, I listen to them on my way home from work, I prefer non-fiction ones at the moment but this one is more stories than facts. I’m real enjoying it though, Loki is hilarious!

Imagine Dragons – OriginsImage result for imagine dragons origins album cover

This album is sooo good! It’s upbeat and catchy, I really like all of the tracks but I think my favourite is Machine.

 

Mumford & Sons – DeltaImage result for mumford and sons delta album cover

This album is lovely, really chill and beautiful. I’ve always been obsessed with Mumford & Sons!! My favourite song at the moment from the album is Woman, I have it in my head right now!

Do you have any audiobook recommendations? How is your February going? Let me know in the comments.