The September Garden

Written by Catherine Law
Review by Chiara Prezzavento

Sweet Nell and lovely, half-French Sylvie (who looks like Vivien Leigh) are first cousins, but don’t get along terribly well. When war erupts, stranding Sylvie in her English relatives’ house in the country, the two girls must make the best of the forced closeness – but, as Nell’s family crumbles under new pressures, whatever understanding the cousins may have found is shattered when they fall for the same man – an RAF pilot bound for a dangerous and very secret mission. Meanwhile, back in German-occupied France, Sylvie’s parents and faithful maid have plenty of trouble of their own. Village life, meddlesome evacuees, the Blitz, lies, misunderstandings, withheld truths, secrets, and, of course, the eponymous garden will all play a part in complicating Nell and Sylvie’s lives in this bittersweet wartime romance, with its lovely and loving evocation of life in the English countryside.