Since the death of her husband Luisa has simply existed. When an opportunity from the godfather of her husband comes Luísa’s way she finds that she may still have the strength in her to fulfil her and her late husbands dream. To transform pockets of land in deprived communities into gardens for everyone and for everyone in that community to be part of it.
Luisa finds herself in a run down seaside town in Cumbria, with some reluctance she can see what the void space could become. Meeting Cas a local teacher who in his spare time runs a boxing gym for children so they have somewhere to go, other than causing trouble she thinks maybe she can help out with the run down gym and support the rental costs if she uses it as her base. He thinks maybe his youngsters could also benefit from taking part in the community garden.
One of those youngsters is Harper, Cas has been her advocate despite the trouble she gets into. To pay off the debt she owes Cas, the deal is she has to work in the garden with Luisa. Harper is troubled, her home life is fractured, her future is looking bleak and perhaps growing something from scratch can cause new beginnings for herself.
As the main characters develop as the plot grows, we see how the prospect of the garden is the beginning, the middle and the end for them all, but it ‘s longevity is perhaps not in doubt. Even when it is threatened. The book makes your heart sing at the joy such a project can bring to an array of people, young and old. However it has its darker moments, that much can be told from the initial descriptions of the seaside town that Luísa finds herself in. Sadly a reflection of perhaps the times we live in and all readers could probably identify with elements local to them.
Along with the contrasting gloominess is the brought growth of a garden starting to flourish along with all the characters that Gosling has created.
Yet again, she has written a book which moves you, inspires and drives you on to keep reading to the end. Strong reads that have always stayed with me for a long time, and ones I recommend time and time again.
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
The Forgotten Garden is out now.