21. The Lost Garden by Kate Kerrigan

I must have had this book on my shelf for well over a year and every time I went to read it I got distracted by something else. I finally got a chance to read it when I pulled it from my book basket as one of my reads.

Synopsis (as on back of book) is as follows:

Aileen Doherty is leaving the island of Illaunmor for the first time. She can’t wait to leave the confines of her sheltered life to go on her first real adventure, tattie picking for the summer in Scotland, with her Father and two older brothers.

What she hadn’t bargained for was meeting the irresistible Jimmy Walsh, who falls for flame-haired Aileen the moment he sets eyes on her. Spending each day working together, side by side, Aileen and Jimmy fall passionately in love, until their happiness is cruelly cut short by a tragic accident that will change their young lives forever.

Back on Illaunmor, Aileen finds solace in reviving an abandoned garden, which has been left as lonely and bereft as she has. Gradually, through the magic of hope, Aileen brings the garden back to life – and herself with it.

Ability to read – I found this easy to read, the language was simple and I was able to comprehend what I was reading and what was happening. I did think that the book moved a little slowly. I have read other Kate Kerrigan books in the past and did feel that this one was a bit of a let down in comparison.

Characterisation – It is true that the characters create a compelling love story that draws in elements of family, love, sadness and memory but I wouldn’t say that the main players were memorable as such. Their story was compelling but I found the characters to be a little dull and I couldn’t quite connect the way I wanted to with the characters I was reading about.

Visualisation – I found it easy to visualise what was happening. The use of details helped me form a picture of what was going on around the main players and I could clearly visualise the setting for each scene.

Problems – I think the problem for me comes down to personal opinion. I have enjoyed Kate Kerrigan’s books in the past and felt that this one let me down a bit. I found it a slow read, the story didn’t move in a way that caught my attention or encouraged my curiosity to read on. I got all the points that made it a good book, the love and excitement, the happiness, sadness, tragedy, uncertainty, fear etc. I think that my opinion of the book is jaded because I couldn’t connect to the characters, and so, it was a struggle to read this book or to view it with anything other than disappointment.

However, if you enjoy love stories that take you on an emotional spiral from beginning to end, then I reckon you would greatly enjoy this book.

Hannah xoxo

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