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Meet Julia Kelly at Longwood Gardens

Updated: May 3

Sadly, I live in an area with no bookstores. Yes, let's all take a moment to weep for me. So I take every advantage to visit bookstores and meet authors when I'm out of the area. Recently I learned of a great opportunity to meet historical fiction about Julia Kelly through one of my favorite destinations - Longwood Gardens! Julia's book The Last Garden in England (more on that later) was their Community Read so she is visiting to discuss the book online on March 26 at 6:30 pm. If you haven't, you still have time to read the book and sign up for the FREE online discussion here.

More About The Last Garden in England:

From the author of the international bestsellers The Light Over London and The Whispers of War comes “a compelling read, filled with lovable characters and an alluring twist of fates” (Ellen Keith, author of The Dutch Wife) about five women living across three different times whose lives are all connected by one very special garden.

Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.

More About Julia Kelly

Julia Kelly is the international bestselling author of historical fiction and historical mystery novels about the extraordinary stories of the past. Her books have been translated into 13 languages. In addition to writing, she’s been an Emmy-nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London.

My Thoughts about The Last Garden in England

When writing this post I realized that The Last Garden in England is 384 pages. I never would have guessed that because I just flew through this novel. This is one where you realize it's 1 am and you're still reading.

Confession time: although I love historical novels and love gardens, I'm not thrilled about multiple timelines (this has three timelines). When I received this as a gift I was reluctant but decided to give it a try. Thank you Julia for successfully creating three unique timelines! I did not confuse characters, forget what happened as I meandered from time to time or even have one character that I felt meh about. I was totally wrapped up in all three stories.

The Last Garden in England made me laugh, cry and even had a few surprise twists that I never saw coming. I felt like the characters were well developed and reading this book made me eager to read more by this author.

A Little Extra

If you're ever in Pennsylvania you must visit Longwood Gardens. It is amazing no matter what the season. Don't miss the treehouses!

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