The Garden of Promises and Lies

Written by Paula Brackston
Review by Judith Starkston

The Garden of Promises and Lies is the third book in Paula Brackston’s Found Things time-travel series. In this book, Xanthe, the main character who “spins” through time, moves between her present-day antique shop and a grand English country estate in the 19th century just after the Napoleonic wars. A wedding dress she buys at an estate sale “sings” to Xanthe, cueing her that she must go back in time to solve an unknown problem.

In the present day, she is concerned about hiding her time travel from her mother and her boyfriend, Liam. When her enemy from the past, Fairfax, appears in front of her store and makes vague threats, she realizes he will not leave her in peace and wonders how the dress and Fairfax might be connected.

Brackston’s opening chapters employ extended summaries to fill in the reader on the previous two books. This makes for a gradual start, although the pacing picks up later in the story, when Brackston introduces higher stakes for her characters and more action. There is an exciting twist that brings the book to a cliffhanger ending, setting up the next novel in the series.