The Lost Garden

Helen Humphreys

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The Lost Garden

The Lost Garden Leaving London to grow food for the war effort Gwen discovers a mysterious lost garden and the story of a love that becomes her own This word perfect heartbreaking novel is set in early in Brit

  • Title: The Lost Garden
  • Author: Helen Humphreys
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 420
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Leaving London to grow food for the war effort, Gwen discovers a mysterious lost garden and the story of a love that becomes her own.This word perfect, heartbreaking novel is set in early 1941 in Britain when the war seems endless and, perhaps, hopeless London is on fire from the Blitz, and a young woman gardener named Gwen Davis flees from the burning city for the DevonLeaving London to grow food for the war effort, Gwen discovers a mysterious lost garden and the story of a love that becomes her own.This word perfect, heartbreaking novel is set in early 1941 in Britain when the war seems endless and, perhaps, hopeless London is on fire from the Blitz, and a young woman gardener named Gwen Davis flees from the burning city for the Devon countryside She has volunteered for the Land Army, and is to be in charge of a group of young girls who will be trained to plant food crops on an old country estate where the gardens have fallen into ruin Also on the estate, waiting to be posted, is a regiment of Canadian soldiers For three months, the young women and men will form attachments, living in a temporary rural escape No one will be changed by the stay than Gwen She will inspire the girls to restore the estate gardens, fall in love with a soldier, find her first deep friendship, and bring a lost garden, created for a great love, back to life While doing so, she will finally come to know herself and a life worth living Reading group guide included.

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      Posted by:Helen Humphreys
      Published :2019-01-20T12:26:30+00:00

    One thought on “The Lost Garden

    1. Diane S ☔ on said:

      It is 1941 and London is being bombed daily. Gwen leaves her job at the horticulture center and takes the position of training young land girls at an estate on the Devon coast. There job is to grow food for the home front.In the estate house a group of soldiers are stationed, waiting to be posted. All have left things or people behind, many have acquaintances or loved ones who have already been killed, or presumed missing. For many of the girls this is the first time they have left home. Most ar [...]

    2. Jennifer (aka EM) on said:

      The only reason I'm not giving this a full five stars is because I thought the underlying metaphor was a little strained and heavy-handed at times; just a few times. But the language - oh, the language. Humphreys is a poet and it shows. And the longing, and the love, and the grief.Originally, Humphreys wanted the novel to be a tribute to reading, not gardening - and it manages to be both. Set in rural England in 1941, The Lost Garden revolves around a 30-something lonely heart who loves, in no p [...]

    3. endofmarch on said:

      I love stories about gardens, that involve gardens, or where the setting is in a garden. So I could not resist picking up this book and having a look at it. The story sounded interesting and intriguing as well. And oh, how I wasn't dissapointed. I got so much more than what I was expecting.It's England, 1941, and London is being destroyed by the Blitz. Gwen Davis, our narrator and protagonist, is a 35 year old horticulturist. Solitary and better with plants than she is with people, Gwen neverthe [...]

    4. Amy on said:

      What a lovely book! I realized halfway through, that I can think of at least 3 people locally who would love this book, though I might be reluctant to let it leave. It's not a dramatic story, but love, loss and longing are such integral characters in this novel. Part mystery, part tribute to Virginia Woolf (indeed, how often have you written a letter to someone in your head?), part gardener's paradise and delight, little quips such as "I much prefer parsnips to people. They are infinitely more r [...]

    5. Jess on said:

      My first Humphreys' book and it won't be my last. This was a hauntingly written novel in a quiet and profound manner that made me stop in my tracks several times while reading to absorb the words in my head. Set outside of London in 1941, the descriptions of the war's destruction and death are horrific but even more compelling are the stories of the individuals living it. Humphreys' gives voice to a regiment of Canadian soldiers billeted at an English manor awaiting deployment into the bleak fra [...]

    6. Sarah on said:

      In a way, this is a love letter to Virginia Woolf. But, it's so much more than that. And, it's so well done. I couldn't possibly do it justice in a review.Just*love*

    7. Xenja on said:

      Romanzo che ho letto per partecipare a un GdL. Io non l'avrei scelto. Ha avuto successo, e Helen Humpreys è un'autrice nota e pluripremiata; ma io non ci ho trovato proprio niente. Inconsistente, evanescente, acquoso. Una zitella inglese va a vivere e a lavorare, per sfuggire ai bombardamenti su Londra, in una tenuta di campagna, dove scopre un giardino segreto dedicato all'amore. Si innamora di un capitano che abita nelle vicinanze, ma in amore è sfortunata e del resto la guerra incombe. Non [...]

    8. Will on said:

      It is deeply lyrical, but it is also overwrought and implausible. Gwen, the central character, is supposed to be leading a land girl platoon in WWII, but spends her whole time mooning away, re-creating a secret garden where apparently nobody notices she isn't doing a stroke of useful farm work. There is a small contingent of Canadian soldiers camped in the farm's main building; the girls have loads of fun organizing dances for the men, but do not quite have torrid affairs, in fact it's all quite [...]

    9. Becca on said:

      The Lost Garden affected me in a way I did not expect. I read a lot of books set in WWII, but the trials of war were almost secondary in this story, though it is definitely the backdrop. This story was more about finding oneself after losing oneself; about love, longing, secrets, passions, hope, and mindfulness in the face of tragic circumstances. Gwen pours all of her emotions into gardening. She's like a profiler - but of flowers. She creates profiles for each genus. She can get to the heart o [...]

    10. Pat on said:

      I read this book in less than a day and it was so beautiful that I was sorry that it came to an end. It is basically a love story, but not in any conventional sense. It is set in the second world war on an estate in Devon where a group of Land Army girls are based to reclaim a very overgrown garden and grow vegetables for the war effort. There is also a group of Canadian soldiers waiting to be sent to France to start fighting. Helen Humphreys tells the story in a clear and concise way so that wo [...]

    11. Joanne on said:

      What a lovely, poetic book this is. While the gardens are clearly symbolic of love, loss and longing, the gentle story envelopes you so softly that you don't realize until the very end how sad this book is. Helen Humphreys has a way of writing short, poignant books that pack such an emotional punch as to leave you reeling. Her descriptions are utterly beautiful. Every time I finish one of her books, I find myself just holding it in my hand, staring off into space while I absorb the impact of her [...]

    12. Wendy on said:

      A beautifully written meditation upon love, longing and loss -- conveyed through the flora of an abandoned English garden during the Second World War.The characters are surprisingly relatable and well-developed for a short novel, although what most resonated with me are the setting, atmosphere, and many poetically expressed passages -- many of which I marked in pencil to revisit. I did feel as if the details in the final chapters were a bit too compact, making the final pages seem rushed compare [...]

    13. Trelawn on said:

      Closer to 3.5 stars. The plot was incidental here, this is a book about loss and longing and in that, it succeeds.

    14. Bev on said:

      The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys is a beautifully written book. At first it may seem a bit disjointed and difficult-going. But looking deeper, the reader finds that like, the lost garden of the title, the story is multi-layered and the best layers are hidden beneath the weeds and neglect. Gardener Gwen Davis comes to the Devon countryside to lead a group from the Women's Land Army. These women have volunteered to grow vegetables for the war effort. Gwen is shy and has little self-confidence an [...]

    15. Fluffy Flowers on said:

      I don't know about you, but when I go out of town for a couple days it seems like I'm completely loaded down with stuff. And I don't mean things like hairdryers and extra clothes. Who needs a change of pants anyway? No, what I'm talking about is stuff that is essential to life. Stuff that makes the days fun. I'm talking about craft projects and books.Even for a short trip, one essential thing is a choice of craft projects and books. I never know what mood I'll be in while I'm away so I've always [...]

    16. Mrsgaskell on said:

      This is a beautiful, poetically written novella. It’s the second book I’ve read by the author and I will actively seek out more. As in Coventry, I found that this author has a gift for description; scenes and locations spring visually to life.It’s the spring of 1941 and Gwen Davis has decided to leave London because she cannot bear to see any more of the destruction of her beloved city as the Blitz continues. A horticulturalist with the Royal Horticultural Society, she leaves for an estate [...]

    17. Alice on said:

      "The Lost Garden" is a gentle, exquisite novel--beautifully written.The language, the beauty of the simple things that grow, come to life in Helen Humphrey's writing.Gwen Davis, who has never known love or intimacy, leaves the Royal Horiticulure Society in London during the Blitz and her work on cankers in parsnips (yes, cankers in parsnips), to work with the Women's Land Army on an estate in Devon, where soldiers await their orders. Friendship and understanding develop, as the women learn to wo [...]

    18. Marne Wilson on said:

      On the surface, this is the story of a group of women who grew potatoes for the war effort on an abandoned estate in Devon during World War II. But if you want to know facts, like how many potatoes could be planted per acre or how much the women were paid each month, this probably isn't the book for you. The tone, instead, is elegaic, teetering very close to melodrama in places but never quite getting there. Gwen Davis, the 35-year-old narrator who has never been in love and has devoted her life [...]

    19. Barb Bailey on said:

      This novel is set in early 1941 in Britan . London is on fire from the Blitz, and a young woman gardener named Gwen Davis flees from the burning city for the Devon countryside. She has volunteered for the Land Army, and is to be in charge of a group of young land girls who will be trained to plant food crops on an old country estate where the gardens have fallen into ruin. Also on the estate, waiting to be posted, is a regiment of Canadian soldiers. For three months, the young women and men will [...]

    20. Robyn on said:

      "Love is tested everyday, & what is not renewed is lost. One chooses either 2 care more or to care less. Once the choice is to come less: then there is no stopping the momentum of goodbye. Each loved thing slips away. there is no stopping it."An unexpected ending to which i am surprised and feel cheated - i do not like the outcome. I do not feel every fall when the plants go dormant they completely die like a person. My pear tree looses leaves but is still alive and there to continue to grow [...]

    21. Patricia on said:

      The novel gathers some lovely things together, Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Wilmott's rose book, a mysterious garden. I loved the author's love for them. The characters were a mix of thin and compelling. Jane got some great lines, and Gwen grew on me. Her realization that she has been too defensive in her dealings with the other women working at the garden was resonant. Captain Raley never seemed well rounded enough to justify her fascination with him.

    22. Marlis on said:

      I'm not sure how I felt about this book. The writing was certainly lovely but the story was just so sad, so hopeless. It's not how I like to feel when I finish a book. Plus there were some elements of mystery in the book that turned out so oddly, I just couldn't understand why they were part of the story at all.

    23. Becky on said:

      This was just OK. I wanted to like it more, but didn't really care for the author's writing style. The premise was good, but the way the story was written just didn't draw me in to the characters. The only reason I finished was because the book is only 182 pages and I kept trying to give it a chance. Diane, you will be getting this one back for the book sale. :-)

    24. Suanne Laqueur on said:

      I like gardening and I like books about England during World War II. This book combines both and while it wasn't the best thing I've ever read, it was quietly touching and nicely written. A solid three-star read.

    25. Mila on said:

      I didn’t like Gwen the main character, no passion, didn’t like the way she named people with potato names. Eglington Rose leaves “fragrant like apples” interested us for a minute.

    26. Pamela on said:

      (view spoiler)[The whole chapter is great. She shows how telling can be effective and absolutely glorious. Amazing spectacular brilliant. I did not want this book to end, and I will definitely read much more of Helen Humphreys. Her writing is glorious and her heart is deep. I could have taken the whole last chapter, but I will have to accept this snippet, and so even great books must come to an END. I say goodbye sadly. I am bereft."I have been home twice in my life. Once when I lay under the li [...]

    27. Laura (booksnob) on said:

      I loved The Lost Garden for its quiet beauty and strength. What a beautiful, heart-wrenching novel. It amazes me that the author was able to load this tiny volume of 182 pages with such full content. It was full of mystery, love, loss, beauty, joy, war, longing. I couldn't put this book down. I thought of my grandparents frequently while reading this book. My grandfather was stationed in England to prepare and participate in D-Day and the European campaign. He lived in a castle in Belgium for pa [...]

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