by Stephanie Barron
The White Garden could only be, to gardeners, Sissinghurst. This book, though, isn't found in the gardening section but in the new fiction area. As someone who loves to browse in a good bookstore (or even a not-so-good one), this book was in my hands as soon as I saw the title.
Interestingly, while it's set in Sissinghurst and is about Sissinghurst, most specifically...duh...the White Garden at Sissinghurst...this is not a true story. Oh, but as you read it...and if you know a little of real life history...you may just find yourself asking: Is it possible?? And, then, my friends, that is when you know the author has you.
I plowed through this book (haha...plowed...get it?...I do love amusing myself) in just a couple days...or rather a couple of late nights up reading. (Another sign of a good book...). It engaged me to the extent that I found myself looking up Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group to learn more...where I discovered how seamlessly the author has incorporated actual people, events, etc. into her tale.
You see, without giving anything away, there was an unexplained and unaccounted for amount of time from when Virginia Woolf was discovered missing...and when her body was discovered.
And, then, too, we have a horticulturist (of course!) from the USA visiting the famous Sissinghurst...who discovers she has a connection to this garden...an actual connection. Set now, we get to explore Sissinghurst and its famous former inhabitants with her.
If you've visited Sissinghurst, you will enjoy remembering (and learning more) it; if you haven't, you'll want to and appreciate seeing it through the eyes of others. Plus, it's a delightful story with a touch of romance...what more do we need on Valentine's Eve?? (You aren't really expected to answer that. My DH is far far away, so I must be content with someone else's romance...sigh....for now.)
Thanks to Dr. NBC for the most marvelous Christmas gift card with which I acquired this book!
My previous Sissinghurst posts (of which one needs to be re-worked...sorry, I'll get around to that one day...another thing on the to-do list..)