ARC REVIEW, Penguin Random House, THE NIGHT GARDEN, by Polly Horvath


It is World War II, and Franny and her parents, Sina and Old Tom, enjoy a quiet life on a farm on Vancouver Island. Franny writes, Sina sculpts, and Old Tom tends to their many gardens–including the ancient, mysterious night garden. Their peaceful life is interrupted when their neighbor, Crying Alice, begs Sina to watch her children while she goes to visit her husband at the military base because she suspects he’s up to no good. Soon after the children move in, letters arrive from their father that suggest he’s about to do something to change their lives; and appearances from a stubborn young cook, UFOs, hermits, and ghosts only make life stranger. Can the forbidden night garden that supposedly grants everyone one wish help them all out of trouble? And if so, at what cost?


What a ride! I found this book exhilarating and the characters rich and wholesome.  The author’s voice is reminiscent of Harper Lee’s in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The use of language significant to the World War II era was an excellent touch. I felt like I was right there with Franny, the storyteller, seeing everything and hearing everything she was. Love the cover! It’s an easy read for middle grade right up to adults! I enjoyed it and know that other adults would too.

I gave this book:


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