Publication: 2nd September 2021 – DelRey
Welcome to the Winter Garden. Open only at 13 o’clock.
You are invited to enter an unusual competition.
I am looking for the most magical, spectacular, remarkable pleasure garden this world has to offer.
On the night her mother dies, 8-year-old Beatrice receives an invitation to the mysterious Winter Garden. A place of wonder and magic, filled with all manner of strange and spectacular flora and fauna, the garden is her solace every night for seven days. But when the garden disappears, and no one believes her story, Beatrice is left to wonder if it were truly real.
Eighteen years later, on the eve of her wedding to a man her late father approved of but she does not love, Beatrice makes the decision to throw off the expectations of Victorian English society and search for the garden. But when both she and her closest friend, Rosa, receive invitations to compete to create spectacular pleasure gardens – with the prize being one wish from the last of the Winter Garden’s magic – she realises she may be closer to finding it than she ever imagined.
Now all she has to do is win.
I am delighted to welcome you on my stop for the blog tour of The Winter Garden, the fantastic new novel by Alex Bell which is out today (happy pubblication day!)
“You’ll never find it in one place for long. It goes where it is needed, appearing from nothing and vanishing just as quickly.”
Who wouldn’t want to visit the Winter Garden? “A place of wonder and magic”, full of impossible flowers, mushrooms that dance, strange birds, fairies, and trees that whisper secrets. The Winter Garden belongs to the Spider Queen and it appears to people during their darkest and bleakest moments. It first appeared to Beatrice Sitwell when she was eight years old and, since then, she’s been obsessed with finding it again. Her friend Rosa is also looking for the Winter Garden to wish back the thing that she loves most in the world.
Beatrice and Rosa are best friend and yet, they couldn’t be more different. Daughter of Lord Sitwell and owner of Half Moon House, Beatrice is expected to marry well and become the obedient wife of a man who will take everything she owns. However, against society’s expectations and much to her aunt’s dismay, Beatrice wants to be independent, free to travel around the world and discover strange and magical plants and animals. On the other hand, Rosa is an American heiress. She dreams to marry an Englishman and acquire a title and a family while she builds incredible clockwork. Both women realize their dreams, but their friendship is tested when they are invited to take part in a competition to create a magnificent garden that will win one of them a wish.
I really enjoyed The Winter Garden and I liked the characters of Beatrice and Rosa. The author describes an accurate Victorian England in which women are expected to marry and take care of their husband, without having any ambition or independence. However, Beatrice and Rosa are different. Beatrice shocks society be traveling around the world (or also on the streets of London) alone and without a chaperone (which was unheard of!). And, when she is refused entrance to a renowned scientific society to present her unique findings because of her gender, she doesn’t give up. Rosa is forced to turn her fortune to her husband at their wedding, but she cleverly manages to keep control of their relationship and to defend herself when necessary.
The Winter Garden is a fantastic, entertaining, and engrossing novel full of magical elements and emotional and compelling storylines and it’s out now, so don’t miss it!
A huge thank you to Alice and DelRey for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a proof of the novel.
Alexandra Bell was born in 1986. She studied Law at university and signed her first book deal at nineteen. Since then, she has written books for both adults and young people, including the Zoella Bookclub pick, Frozen Charlotte, and The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club series, under the name Alex Bell. She lives in Hampshire in a house ruled by Siamese cats.