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The Neglected Garden*

Imbalance Hampers Story

Gilly the garden designer is asked to make a bid on a garden redesign for a swanky home. The relatively new owner lives there with his young son, and there are some apartments for tenants on the grounds. It’s a beautiful estate in County Kildare, Ireland, but danger and secrets lurk beneath its tranquil surface. A surprising amount of gardening talk takes up valuable story room. Clearly, the author either has a deep understanding of gardens and their designs, or she did a lot of research for this book. I found the level of detail perhaps to be a little too much. I don’t know enough about gardens and plants for the minutiae to make much sense to me without a Google search or five. I felt like the scenes at the beginning didn’t have enough motion; not enough happened or was revealed. They felt like slice-of-life moments and weren’t terribly interesting, which actually waste time in a story that supposed to have both romantic and suspense elements. I don’t feel that the romance was pulled off 100% successfully. I liked both Gilly and Marc as characters, but they just didn’t gel for me as a couple. All in all, I felt like it needed more romance and suspense and a little less gardening and day-in-the-life scenes.