About The Book
Nightingale House, 1919. Liddy Horner discovers her husband, the world-famous artist Sir Edward Horner, burning his best-known painting The Garden of Lost and Found days before his sudden death.
Nightingale House was the Horner family’s beloved home – a gem of design created to inspire happiness – and it was here Ned painted TheGarden of Lost and Found, capturing his children on a perfect day, playing in the rambling Eden he and Liddy made for them.
One magical moment. Before it all came tumbling down…
When Ned and Liddy’s great-granddaughter Juliet is sent the key to Nightingale House, she opens the door onto a forgotten world. The house holds its mysteries close but she is in search of answers. For who would choose to destroy what they love most? Whether Ned’s masterpiece – or, in Juliet’s case, her own children’s happiness.
Something shattered this corner of paradise. But what?
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I had only read one book by Harriet Evans before, that book was published over a few months. I am so pleased that I didn’t read this the same way. For no other reason than each time the book switched from modern day to Liddy’s life around the beginning of the 20th century, or vice versa, I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.
The characters are mesmerising, the way that the children in each part differed so much. The children who answered their mother back in modern day wouldn’t have dared do the same to their tyrant of a nurse in the 1890s. The friendships and love affairs, the secrets, the hopes and disappointments. And the way that attitudes change, how the unacceptable became understood.
For much of the novel I preferred Juliet’s story. Her determination to leave her obnoxious husband and move to the house she visited as a child. Her frustration at not being able to keep her children happy and her wonderful relationship with Frederic and George.
But as the story progressed I wanted to know more about Liddy. How she lived her life, in fear of the past and her devotion to Ned and her children. Pertwee, her brother, badly damaged, but still wanting to help in the end, and Mary, her sister who only ever wanted to protect her. Mary was my favourite character in the novel. Brave, devoted, and a suffragist
When this type of fiction is done well it is a favourite for me. This book doesn’t disappoint, it is remarkable and it was one I struggled to put down.