The French Gardener

Santa Montefiore, Author . Touchstone $15 (406p) ISBN 978-1-4165-4374-9

Montefiore's well-crafted, evocative novel is instantly sensual and welcoming. When Miranda Claybourne's seven-year-old is expelled from school, the stylish Londoner, magazine writer and mother of two, ditches her posh Notting Hill digs for the idylls of a country estate. But her simple-life fantasies soon fail. Her husband's preoccupied with his job and his mistress; the kids lash out at each other while Gus, the elder, terrorizes both farm animals and his new classmates. Enter Jean-Paul, a handsome, mysterious Frenchman with an offer to tend her woefully neglected gardens. Cleaning out the estate's rundown cottage for Jean-Paul, she discovers the secret journals of the previous lady of the house—a brilliant gardener, Ava Lightly, and her love affair. As if by magic, Miranda's garden begins to thrive and she owes it all to Jean-Paul, with whom she thinks she's falling in love. The drama of the journals distract from her own failing marriage, and Miranda delights in the idea that her life is running parallel to Ava's—it's a lovely coincidence, until she stops to consider exactly what may have drawn Jean-Paul into her garden. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/27/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
Hardcover - 416 pages - 978-0-340-84049-8
Hardcover - 406 pages - 978-0-340-84048-1
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4169-8715-4
Hardcover - 536 pages - 978-1-60285-494-9
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-4711-3198-1
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!