I’m beginning to think lovely Heidi Swain appears on Linda’s Book Bag more frequently than I do, but I simply cannot resist her writing and although I really wasn’t going to accept any further blog tours for a while, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in this tour for Heidi’s latest book, The Winter Garden. My grateful thanks to Harriett Collins at Simon and Schuster for inviting me to take part. It feels a bit of a privilege to be closing the tour.
In case you weren’t aware of how much I love Heidi’s writing, you’ll find the following posts on the blog:
My review of The Secret Seaside Escape here.
My review of Poppy’s Recipe for Life here.
My review of Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market here.
A ‘staying in’ post with Heidi to chat all about Sunshine and Sweet Peas In Nightingale Square here.
A guest post from Heidi to celebate Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland, explaining exactly what Christmas means to her here.
Published by Simon and Schuster on 1st October 2020, The Winter Garden is available for purchase through the links here.
The Winter Garden
Will love bloom this winter?
Freya Fuller is living her dream, working as a live-in gardener on a beautiful Suffolk estate. But when the owner dies, Freya finds herself forced out of her job and her home with nowhere to go. However, with luck on her side, she’s soon moving to Nightingale Square and helping to create a beautiful winter garden that will be open to the public in time for Christmas.
There’s a warm welcome from all in Nightingale Square, except from local artist Finn. No matter how hard the pair try, they just can’t get along, and working together to bring the winter garden to life quickly becomes a struggle for them both.
Will Freya and Finn be able to put their differences aside in time for Christmas? Or will the arrival of a face from Freya’s past send them all spiralling?
The Winter Garden is the perfect read this Christmas, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Cathy Bramley and Sarah Morgan.
My Review of The Winter Garden
Now, I know this is going to sound ridiculous in a book review, but reading Heidi Swain feels to me rather like coming home. I always pick up one of her books with trepidation, wondering if this time the magic of her writing won’t be there, and within half a dozen pages I know I’m in for another of her gorgeous, signature, heart warming stories brimming with love and community. The Winter Garden is no exception and I loved thoroughly enjoyed it.
Freya is a girl after my own heart. Her love of the natural world, her challenging mother, her interest in gardening (and in some of the men) in the narrative resonated with me completely. Reading about her in The Winter Garden felt as if I’d just caught up with a very dear friend. I could hear her natural voice chatting to me as I read her first person story. It was also a real treat to return to the characters I’ve met in Nightingale Square before in other Heidi Swain books. Add in the gorgeous Finn, the roguish Zak and abominable Jackson and there’s a cornucopia of new people to enjoy too. However, that said, my heart was most touched by Eloise. I found her wisdom and influence hugely affecting and I experienced a wistful longing to have met her. Even Nell gained my empathy and she’s not even human!
The plot is charming with a will they/won’t they narrative which I found very entertaining. Indeed, at one point I wasn’t quite sure which man might be Freya’s ultimate partner. I was expecting a happy ever after ending, but it wasn’t always clear I was going to get one and you’ll have to read The Winter Garden to see if I my expectations were fulfilled. What I always love about Heidi Swain’s writing is that community is at the heart of her stories. Whilst romance plays its part she illustrates beautifully that human connections, care and support are the glue that bind us all together. In today’s world I think The Winter Garden could be just the balm our frequently frazzled minds need. I felt Heidi Swain’s story telling took me back to nature and showed me true values in life.
The Winter Garden is a treat of a read. It’s perfect for a chilly winter afternoon or evening and transports the reader to a world where the path of true love may not always run smoothly, but my word, it’s worth the journey! The Winter Garden put a smile on my face and brought me happiness and I can’t think of anything better in these rather bleak times!
About Heidi Swain
Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times bestselling author of several novels including The Cherry Tree Cafe, Summer at Skylark Farm, Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market, Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage, Poppy’s Recipe for Life, Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair, The Christmas Wish List, The Secret Seaside Escape and now The Winter Garden. She lives in Norfolk with her husband and two teenage children.