There is something reassuring about Heidi Swain’s novels. They take you to places that you just don’t want to visit, but also live and the beauty is you get to go back again and again.
This her latest novel is no exception and I am back in Nightingale Square which you can read more about in Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square and Poppy’s Recipe for Life.
Freya does not have a good relationship with her parents, they cannot understand her desire to be a hands on gardener rather than one that can plan and plot but let someone else get their hand’s dirty. Freya realises the connection that a hands on approach gives her to nature and the world around her.
When that world suddenly changes and her job that she has embraced for the last few years looks like it is going to change beyond her control and she seeks an opportunity elsewhere.
Which is how Freya find’s herself in Nightingale Square, to help the Winter Garden project that Luke the well known resident and owner of Prosperous Place. With accommodation to go with the job and also she can bring rescue dog Nell, Freya thinks she may have found a more settled place.
That is until she meets Finn. Feisty and fiery there first meeting is not perhaps what you would expect and they start their friendship on rather a wrong footing. As misunderstandings and events seem to be against Finn and Freya can they ever be anything other than tolerating work colleagues.
As the garden progresses, Freya becomes involved with lots of community events and she starts to see the benefit that the garden will give and it’s creation is giving to lots of people. Heidi Swain somehow has taken me out into the garden as I read this book. I could get my hands dirty and see something grow, the research into what would work in such a garden is clear even if gardening is not your thing.
For all those who have no or little access to outdoor spaces, this book will resonate with you so strongly, it gives you that peace, that tranquillity, that connection with nature that may have been missing from during the strange times we currently live in.
One of my most favourite books of the year and is an example of escapism reading at it’s best as are all of this author’s novels. Be transported to the wonderful people of Nightingale Square and all that it offers and if you spot a place for sale- let me know, I have my bags packed and I am moving in.
Thank you Heidi Swain – you bring such joy to your readers with all of your books.
Everyone needs to read a Heidi Swain book – they are like a mysterious remedy that works as a balm to the soul.
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
The Winter Garden is out now.