the lost garden (2002)
- a canada reads selection for 2003
- a new york times notable book of the year
- national bestseller
it's spring 1941 and london is being destroyed by the blitz. gwen davis, a young horticulturist, leaves her beloved city for the devon countryside, where she will instruct a group of girls in the women's land army in growing crops for the home front. there, on a beautiful but neglected country estate, she meets two people who will change her life forever.
"a finely wrought novel
meticulous, lucid prose."
—the new york times book review
helen humphreys is a metaphysical novelist; for her, intricate emotional content finds specific analogues in the made world
—the new yorker
"a quiet and intelligent inquiry into the absence at the core of love
lovely in its honesty and brevity."
—the globe and mail
"a stunningly beautiful little gem that lingers in the memory like the heady scent of a damask rose."
—the boston globe
"emotional ache, fear, loneliness, helen humphreys evokes these sensations with unsettling clarity. she turns the lost garden into an extended metaphor, each flower described as if it experiences all of life's changes. you will never look at peonies the same way again. utterly brilliant."
"humphreys' affecting novel never fails to couple the realistic with the ideal, the historical with the timeless
—the san francisco chronicle
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