Melissa Harrison. Bloomsbury, $24 (224p) ISBN 978-1-60819-978-5
The alluring pull of nature unites four strangers in this overly ambitious debut. At the center of it all is young TC, a lonely nine-year-old kid with an indifferent mother, absent father, and a penchant for skipping school to spend time in a city park, a place of solace for him. There he befriends Jozef, a Polish immigrant nostalgic for life back on his family’s farm; recently widowed Sophia, who is more afraid of relying on her distant daughter than she is of her increasingly alarming heart palpitations (her husband died of a heart attack); and Sophia’s precocious granddaughter, Daisy, sheltered by an overprotective mother but intensely curious about the world. As TC’s home life unravels, he seeks a haven in the secret garden of the park, where he can live closer to nature, but an unfortunate misunderstanding brings the real world crashing down on everyone. Chapter titles named after traditional harvest feasts indicate the passing of time—the novel unfolds over the course of a year—and the pure and poetic descriptions of nature mark the changing seasons beautifully. Although Harrison’s lush images of the natural world rescue the story somewhat, they leave little room for meaningful development of the characters or any real sense of connection between them. Agent: Jenny Jewson, Rogers, Coleridge & White (U.K.). (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/17/2012
Release date: 02/19/2013
Show other formats
Hardcover - 978-1-4713-2643-1
Hardcover - 978-1-4713-2644-8
Open Ebook - 978-1-62040-040-1
Hardcover - 262 pages - 978-1-4088-4255-3
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.