Today I’m so delighted to shine a spotlight on Nicola Cornick’s new release, The Winter Garden. I’ve been waiting patiently for ages, and I have to confess when I received the book, I absolutely scarfed it down in two sittings. Whether you’re familiar with the story of the Gunpowder Plotters, or it’s new history to you, Nicola’s take is irresistible. Here’s the blurb, and my review. Nicola, I loved it! One of your best.
The Winter Garden
Remember, Remember the Fifth of November…
1605: Anne Catesby fears for her family. Her son, the charismatic Robert, is secretly plotting to kill the king, placing his family in grave danger. Anne must make a terrible choice: betray her only child or risk her family’s future.
Present Day: When her dreams of becoming a musician are shattered, Lucy takes refuge in her family’s ancestral home in Oxfordshire, once home to Robert Catesby, the gunpowder plotter. There she starts to have strange visions of a woman in Tudor dress, a woman whose story runs parallel to and then converges with her own. Lucy is determined to find out more about this apparition and in doing so uncovers a chain of secrets that have been hidden for centuries…
Lyrical and Mysterious | Five Stars
Reminiscent of Elizabeth Goudge’s lyricism of the English countryside, and Kate Morton’s historical mysteries, The Winter Garden is a beautiful journey into a captivating Tudor world, guided by a sensitive and courageous 21st-century heroine, musician Lucy Brown. With every Nicola Cornick book I read, I finish with a deep sigh, saying “this is her best yet.” The Winter Garden does not disappoint. As intricate as the enchanted gardens and fascinating archaeological discoveries, this novel resonates with the loveliness of the English countryside, and yet threatens with an impending doom lurking on the edge of Lucy’s consciousness.
Ms. Cornick has an amazing skill in spinning together the normal and paranormal, creating a magical world of hauntings and a thoroughly satisfying romance. She has a remarkable perspective on both history and every day, weaving major events and small happenings – from deadly 17th-century political plots to playful match-making Labradors. Each carefully depicted character in the novel plays a crucial role in the destiny of both tragedy and triumph, and the two different eras complement each other in a harmony of counterpoints.
I devoured this novel over the course of a couple of afternoons, putting work aside and allowing myself the luxury of enjoying a really good read, with cat on lap and tea to hand. The Winter Garden is an absolute treat, and I would highly recommend this indulgence to all fans of historical fiction.
Nicola Cornick is an international bestselling and award-winning novelist who has written over thirty historical novels in a career spanning twenty years. Nicola studied History at the University of London and later at Ruskin College Oxford, where she was awarded a MA in Public History with Distinction for her work on heroes and hero myths. Fusing storytelling with a non-fiction level of historical research, Nicola specialises in examining the lives of women who are so often mentioned only in the footnotes of the historical record, and draws on the local history of Wessex for inspiration. She gives talks and seminars on a number of historical and writing related topics and in her spare time is a puppy raiser for the Guide Dogs charity.