Greenwood’s pleasing debut employs a familiar device — a mystery that bridges different generations — to tell two original love stories.
1898. Ann is a runaway in her 20s. When William finds her, hungry and fearful, outside the London charity hospital he manages, he takes her in, gives her work, and keeps her safe. Ann becomes William’s assistant and, in time, his wife.
1996. When Carey completes her finals with high marks, she lifts her eyes for the first time to consider life outside her Welsh village. David wants a life with Carey at Plas Eden, the rundown estate he inherited. He dreams of restoring the statuary garden to its former splendor. When Carey tells David her plans for university and a career, their conflicting ambitions drive a wedge between them. Carey leaves, and David stays in Wales.
2011. Carey’s mother becomes ill. Carey puts her life in London on hold to return to Wales. When she discovers a link between Plas Eden and the site where David’s parents died inexplicably in Cornwall, Carey and David join forces to explain the connection. By following a trail of clues from Wales to Cornwall and back, they discover not only their own histories and Ann’s but also the secret of the statues in the Plas Eden garden.
Eden’s Garden is highly recommended for readers who enjoy romantic family mysteries with a strong sense of place.