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The Insistent Garden

By Rosie Chard (newest)

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“It is at the edge of a petal that love waits.” So says the narrator of Rosie Chard’s sophomore novel. The former landscape architect brings her encyclopedic knowledge of plant life to bear in this dark domestic tale of a young woman, Edith Stoker, whose family is suffocating her. Set in 1969 East Midlands, UK, home of the world’s first factory (enough said), the story largely occurs in Edith’s back yard, where her father continues to build a brick wall out of a mysterious hatred for their neighbour, the Dickensian Edward Black. While the page count could have used a diet, the story is ultimately endearing and the character of Edith both vacant and utterly believable to the point of frustration. While the book leaves a lasting impression, it is mostly in Chard’s beautiful descriptions of flora that I found myself joyfully lost, and less the in the plot.

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