The Walled Garden : Unearth the most captivating historical fiction debut of 2023


by Hardy, Sarah | Suffolk
Published 16/03/2023 by Bonnier Books Ltd (Manilla Press) in the United Kingdom
Hardback | 400 pages

ISBN: 9781838779252 Category:


A luminous debut novel about love, the trauma of war and the miracle of human resilience, for readers of Anna Hope, Sadie Jones and Elizabeth Jane Howard. No one survives war unscathed. But even in the darkest days, seeds of hope can grow.

It is 1946 and in the village of Oakbourne the men are home from the war. Their bodies are healing but their psychological wounds run deep. Everyone is scarred – those who fought and those left behind.

Alice Rayne is married to Stephen, heir to crumbling Oakbourne Hall. Once a sweet, gentle man, he has returned a bitter and angry stranger, destroyed by what he has seen and done, tormented by secrets Alice can only guess at.

Lonely and increasingly afraid of the man her husband has become, Alice must try to pick up the pieces of her marriage and save Oakbourne Hall from total collapse. She begins with the walled garden and, as it starts to bear fruit, she finds herself drawn into a new, forbidden love.

Set in the Suffolk countryside as it moves from winter to spring, The Walled Garden is a captivating love story and a timeless, moving exploration of trauma and the miracle of human resilience.

‘Richly evocative and transporting’ Stacey Halls’A heartbreaking tale, vividly dramatised’ Rachel Hore’Tender and lyrical . . . This beautiful book had notes of both Elizabeth von Arnim and Elizabeth Jane Howard. More please!’ Natasha Solomons’Touching, absorbing . . . A beautifully written story that will especially appeal to Rachel Hore fans’ Daily Mail ‘A poignant drama . . . What happens when war ends? How do people move on after what they’ve seen and possibly done? Hardy explores these complex themes in this gentle but powerful novel. There’ll be tears, but this evocative read is worth every one’ Book of the Month, Woman and Home’An enveloping story to savour’ Kate Sawyer, Costa shortlisted author of The Stranding’Written with great delicacy and feeling’ Elizabeth Buchan, author of Two Women in Rome’Hardy’s supremely observed novel blossoms like a rose-sharp and pointed, and stunningly beautiful’ Inga Vesper, author of The Long, Long Afternoon’A poignant, powerful novel about aftermath, trauma and hope’ Katie Lumsden, author of The Secrets of Hartwood Hall

Additional information

Weight 0.62 kg