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O Jardineiro Francês

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Os Claybourne decidem mudar-se para o campo. Na idílica casa cedo as ilusões de uma vida mais calma e sereno se estilhaçam. Há muito que Miranda e David se afastaram e os filhos continuam tão solitários e agressivos como antes. Não adianta fugir dos problemas, eles continuam entre eles. Um dia um francês oferece-se para tratar do jardim. Miranda descobre os diários secreto Os Claybourne decidem mudar-se para o campo. Na idílica casa cedo as ilusões de uma vida mais calma e sereno se estilhaçam. Há muito que Miranda e David se afastaram e os filhos continuam tão solitários e agressivos como antes. Não adianta fugir dos problemas, eles continuam entre eles. Um dia um francês oferece-se para tratar do jardim. Miranda descobre os diários secretos de antiga proprietária e percebe que existe uma profunda ligação entre aquele misterioso homem e a história de amor que lê avidamente entre as páginas do diário. Estará também ela apaixonada? Seguirá a sua vida um outro rumo? Ou será a sua família como o jardim que precisa de ser cuidado para recuperar o vigor e alegria? Uma tocante história de amor, perda e renascimento.


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Os Claybourne decidem mudar-se para o campo. Na idílica casa cedo as ilusões de uma vida mais calma e sereno se estilhaçam. Há muito que Miranda e David se afastaram e os filhos continuam tão solitários e agressivos como antes. Não adianta fugir dos problemas, eles continuam entre eles. Um dia um francês oferece-se para tratar do jardim. Miranda descobre os diários secreto Os Claybourne decidem mudar-se para o campo. Na idílica casa cedo as ilusões de uma vida mais calma e sereno se estilhaçam. Há muito que Miranda e David se afastaram e os filhos continuam tão solitários e agressivos como antes. Não adianta fugir dos problemas, eles continuam entre eles. Um dia um francês oferece-se para tratar do jardim. Miranda descobre os diários secretos de antiga proprietária e percebe que existe uma profunda ligação entre aquele misterioso homem e a história de amor que lê avidamente entre as páginas do diário. Estará também ela apaixonada? Seguirá a sua vida um outro rumo? Ou será a sua família como o jardim que precisa de ser cuidado para recuperar o vigor e alegria? Uma tocante história de amor, perda e renascimento.

30 review for O Jardineiro Francês

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I had to spend a bit of time thinking about my review of this book. The starring role for me and the novel's saving grace was the garden around which the story is set. Time jumps between two families living in the same English country estate one in the late 1970's, the other in 2005. The strong and vivid writing brings the story of a garden to life. I could practically smell the flowers and see the stages of its creation, collapse and recreation. What I found incredibly disturbing was the author I had to spend a bit of time thinking about my review of this book. The starring role for me and the novel's saving grace was the garden around which the story is set. Time jumps between two families living in the same English country estate one in the late 1970's, the other in 2005. The strong and vivid writing brings the story of a garden to life. I could practically smell the flowers and see the stages of its creation, collapse and recreation. What I found incredibly disturbing was the author's portrayal of marital infidelity. Based on this story I must assume that either she has never been cheated on and is able to suspend morality for the sake of sappy romance or she herself cheated on someone and was able to justify it. Infidelity is condoned as long as "nobody gets hurt". Men are given the excuse of just being "like that" and a wife can easily forgive and move on in a matter of weeks with no real fall out. In these story lines both men and women cheat. This infuriating crock load of selfishly infantile behavior was saved only by my love of the garden. Had it not been for that strong draw I would have been too disgusted to finish. I struggle with anyone who has been cheated on giving this book a shining review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    OK, I finished it. The author states in her interview at the end - "I think infidelity is wrong only if it hurts other people". Enough said. Why I am distressing myself trying to finish this book is beyond reason - I keep hoping to find redeeming value in it. May be because it was described as Rosamunde Pilcher-like and 20 odd years ago I loved "The Shell Seekers". Who knows, maybe today I would dislike that book too. Over romantification of characters, hit over the head foreshadowing/plotting, i OK, I finished it. The author states in her interview at the end - "I think infidelity is wrong only if it hurts other people". Enough said. Why I am distressing myself trying to finish this book is beyond reason - I keep hoping to find redeeming value in it. May be because it was described as Rosamunde Pilcher-like and 20 odd years ago I loved "The Shell Seekers". Who knows, maybe today I would dislike that book too. Over romantification of characters, hit over the head foreshadowing/plotting, infidelity, ugh. Maybe it's the gardens that are keeping me going. Oh yes, don't let me forget the horrible parent/perfect parent characterization going on...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Peters

    While I don't normally read 'romance' novels, the description and reviews caused me to delve into this title anyway because of my love of anything french, gardening, family dramas and believe it or not, the rainbows. And there is plenty of all the above in this novel-- the author writes very well. I found myself drawn into the garden landscape of crushed gravel paths, old stone bridge, dovecote, hollowed Ash tree and pitched roof country cottage. I don't know if her writing foreshadowed events t While I don't normally read 'romance' novels, the description and reviews caused me to delve into this title anyway because of my love of anything french, gardening, family dramas and believe it or not, the rainbows. And there is plenty of all the above in this novel-- the author writes very well. I found myself drawn into the garden landscape of crushed gravel paths, old stone bridge, dovecote, hollowed Ash tree and pitched roof country cottage. I don't know if her writing foreshadowed events to come or if it was stereotypical and formulaic, but I've decided to give her the benefit of doubt even with the incredibly handsome frenchman, adulterous husband, betrayal, heart wrenchng love, family honor, etc... So you ask why did you like this novel so much? The rainbows-- I have my own romantic rainbow story that led to my own marriage 15 years ago and I simply could relate afterall. Maybe I'll read a few more romances this year. The author divides the novel into 4 seasons which is a clever personiication of life as it pertains to the main characters of the novel. By the end they all grow and develope and find strength, love and happiness they never imagined possible. It may make you look at your own garden and rainbows'a bit differently.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Wow....this was a beautiful love story told in two different time periods! I absolutely did not want this one to end. I love the way Santa Montefiore weaves her storytelling.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brandi

    So I finished this book last week but I haven't quite known what to rate it. I actually did enjoy this book, the setting in the English countryside was magical, the romance and further relationships were lovely, the one big problem- the main romantic relationship came as a product of infidelity. It's just so hard for me to get past that. And not only that, but the marriage was great, happy, everyone treated each other nicely, etc. There were no faults, no cracks, no one was being a jerk. So from So I finished this book last week but I haven't quite known what to rate it. I actually did enjoy this book, the setting in the English countryside was magical, the romance and further relationships were lovely, the one big problem- the main romantic relationship came as a product of infidelity. It's just so hard for me to get past that. And not only that, but the marriage was great, happy, everyone treated each other nicely, etc. There were no faults, no cracks, no one was being a jerk. So from that stand point it rubbed me wrong. Which is too bad, because I did enjoy the read and probably would have given it 4 stars if it had not been a "I can't help but cheat on my husband because I've fallen in love with someone else also" book. The result of the affair and the ending are interesting and not all together good/happy or bad/sad. Note that this is not a book for YA, it had a several swear words as I recall and definitely had sex, although not vulgar or terribly descriptive, and just mature issues in general.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Natasa

    This is a well written profound tale in which the garden serves as a metaphor of life. It separates the storyline into the four seasons with the garden different each time as is a person through the years. This book is moving because of the wise aging title character who reflects to the spring of his life so that the audience understands what passed to him and his love. Fans will appreciate Jean Paul’s wisdom as it is never too late to hug a loved one even if the person you love has passed; the This is a well written profound tale in which the garden serves as a metaphor of life. It separates the storyline into the four seasons with the garden different each time as is a person through the years. This book is moving because of the wise aging title character who reflects to the spring of his life so that the audience understands what passed to him and his love. Fans will appreciate Jean Paul’s wisdom as it is never too late to hug a loved one even if the person you love has passed; the good memories provide effective mental hugs. Full review on my blog: https://poetryofreading.blogspot.com/...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    I absolutely adored this book; a perfect summer read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amra Alihodzic

    NEPOPRAVLJIV ROMANTIČAR - PREDOBRA KNJIGA!!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ricki Treleaven

    This week I read The French Gardener by Santa Montefiore. My bloggy friend, Linda, posted about it here, and I wanted to read it based on her review. I will keep my review brief and refer you to Linda's post. Linda also has another blog, News from Italy, I enjoy reading, too. Last week, I wrote about The Winter Sea, and I loved it because it was two stories in one book. I was a little surprised that The French Gardener also contained two separate stories. It has been a joy reading two very good b This week I read The French Gardener by Santa Montefiore. My bloggy friend, Linda, posted about it here, and I wanted to read it based on her review. I will keep my review brief and refer you to Linda's post. Linda also has another blog, News from Italy, I enjoy reading, too. Last week, I wrote about The Winter Sea, and I loved it because it was two stories in one book. I was a little surprised that The French Gardener also contained two separate stories. It has been a joy reading two very good books in a row. The French Gardener is about a young couple, David and Miranda Claybourne, who have moved from London to rural Dorset. They purchase a sprawling estate that is reputed to have had the most beautiful garden in England. The reason for the move: their troubled son, Gus, has been expelled from his elementary school, and David decides that moving to the country will help his son's behavior. The couple also have a daughter named Storm. Both children are attention starved and disturbed by the move. Miranda is overwhelmed by the responsibilities of the estate, so she seeks to hire a cook, housekeeper, and a couple of gardeners to right the garden that has gone to seed. Storm finds a gardener while out playing one afternoon, and he helps her find her way back home. He is French, very handsome, and looking for work. Miranda offers the estate's neglected cottage by the river to the gardener. While renovating the dilapidated structure, she finds a mysterious scrapbook that celebrates a rare and beautiful love. The story took place over a year's time over 26 years ago. Miranda is captivated by the scrapbook and the story it tells. She decides to keep the scrapbook to herself, and it becomes a muse to her work as a writer. David is away all week in London working, and he feels a bit out of place when he comes home for the weekend. The gardener, Jean-Paul, is fantastic with the kids, and they bond with him because he spends time playing with them. He works tirelessly to bring the garden back to its former glory, but it seems that the more Jean-Paul accomplishes in the garden, the more resentful David is of his influence on the estate and his family. The Claybournes are in jeopardy, and there are secrets that could tear the family apart. The book is divided into the four sections based on the seasons, and follows the story depicted in the scrapbook as well as the transformation of the Hartington House estate and the Claybourne family. I love the descriptions of the garden, main house, cottage, and Jean-Paul's vineyard in France. There is something very special about books set in gardens, and it makes me want to learn much more about gardening and own acreage one day. Two other books set in gardens I really liked are The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton and The Savage Garden by Mark Mills.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    An eloquently written love story. I couldn't help being captiaved from the very first page. I was reminded of The Thorn Birds or The Bridges of Madison County. It was Santa Montefiore is now a favorite of author and I cannot wait to read more from her. An eloquently written love story. I couldn't help being captiaved from the very first page. I was reminded of The Thorn Birds or The Bridges of Madison County. It was Santa Montefiore is now a favorite of author and I cannot wait to read more from her.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Feigert

    This was my first read by Santa Montefiore and I really enjoyed it. It was beautifully written and very descriptive. She made me want to go out and start digging a garden! Even though I don't have a yard! The characters were well developed and I really liked most of them. A beautiful love story told in two different time periods. One thing I really liked were the author's chapter titles, very unique. And the epilogue was beautifully written and brought a tear to my eye. A definite thumbs up! This was my first read by Santa Montefiore and I really enjoyed it. It was beautifully written and very descriptive. She made me want to go out and start digging a garden! Even though I don't have a yard! The characters were well developed and I really liked most of them. A beautiful love story told in two different time periods. One thing I really liked were the author's chapter titles, very unique. And the epilogue was beautifully written and brought a tear to my eye. A definite thumbs up!

  12. 5 out of 5

    LindyLouMac

    It is only two months since I last read and reviewed a book by this author but this one from the blurb on the back cover sounded just perfect for spending a few lazy summer afternoons reading. It was perfect so Santa Montefiore gets to feature here again. These are the words that jumped out at me from the back cover ‘A neglected garden. A cottage that holds a secret. A mysterious Frenchman, (handsome naturally). A family in need of some love. These elements are entwined in this heart warming nov It is only two months since I last read and reviewed a book by this author but this one from the blurb on the back cover sounded just perfect for spending a few lazy summer afternoons reading. It was perfect so Santa Montefiore gets to feature here again. These are the words that jumped out at me from the back cover ‘A neglected garden. A cottage that holds a secret. A mysterious Frenchman, (handsome naturally). A family in need of some love. These elements are entwined in this heart warming novel that reviewers consistently compare to Maeve Binchy and Rosamunde Pilcher.’ I have in fact made this very same comparison myself, here in my review of The Swallow and the Hummingbird, when I recommended her writing to all lovers of romantic fiction, especially fans of Rosamunde Pilcher. The French Gardener is a very romantic story, but not in a sickly sweet way, that found me with tears in my eyes a few times. Maybe I have been feeling a little too sentimental recently but I really enjoyed the way this story was told. The book is divided into the four seasons and within each section there are told the stories of the two families, linked past and present by The French Gardener himself. In modern times we have David and Miranda Claybourne moving out of London and buying Hartington House a country estate. It is not the idyllic lifestyle that Miranda may have imagined partly because her husband is hardly ever there, finds she is lonely. I found her husband to be arrogant and intensely annoying actually for most of the novel! The gardens have been neglected so when a Jean Paul a Frenchman turns up offering to help restore the place to its former beauty Miranda jumps to accept his offer. Little does she know when she takes him on that he has a connection with the garden and the previous residents Phillip and Ava Lightly from nearly thirty years ago. Both stories centre around Hartington House, its garden and the village it is part of. Anyone who has experienced village life for themselves and or loves gardening will appreciate how well Santa Montefiore has captured the essence of the characters and their surroundings. A story that truly captures the struggle to balance love and duty. Personally I am really looking forward to reading more of her novels and am disappointed that at the moment there are no more sitting on our bookshelves waiting for me. For a fuller post please visit LindyLouMac's Book Reviews http://lindyloumacbookreviews.blogspo...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan Ferguson

    I enjoyed this book - of course, I cried through the last parts of it. It takes a look about what is important as a family. Jean-Paul has been sent to work with ? who has the most beautiful gardens in the area. He comes across as an arrogant, shiftless playboy and she doesn't figure he'll last a week. But he works with her in her gardens, planting and weeding and watching her interact with her children and family. He sees how she teaches them and loves them and he begins to fall in love. She tell I enjoyed this book - of course, I cried through the last parts of it. It takes a look about what is important as a family. Jean-Paul has been sent to work with ? who has the most beautiful gardens in the area. He comes across as an arrogant, shiftless playboy and she doesn't figure he'll last a week. But he works with her in her gardens, planting and weeding and watching her interact with her children and family. He sees how she teaches them and loves them and he begins to fall in love. She tells him she will not leave her children, they are too important to her. The other storyline is the family who has bought the estate when ? and Phillip had to sell it because of his stroke. They have moved from London and Miranda does not intend to get involved with the neighbors in this little nothing town. They have 2 children, a boy and a girl. The boy desperately wants attention and acts out cruelly to other children and animals. Miranda is a writer of articles and opinion pieces, etc., but wants to write a novel. So she's really too busy to be with the children. Then she hires a housekeeper and Jean-Paul shows up having found her daughter, Storm, in the woods and brought her home. She asks what he does and he replies "I garden". So she hires him as a gardener and fixes up the little cottage across the water for him. She finds a scrapbook in the spare bedroom - the house is set like someone went out for a walk and never came back. The table is set for two, the beds are made, etc. She begins to read the scrapbook and things begin to take on a different perspective for her, very slowly at first. Jean-Paul returns and teaches the children gradually how to have fun. He builds them a tree house in a hollow tree and begins to bring the gardens back to life. Miranda is unable to resist joining in the fun he and the children are having, and she begins to make friends in the area. Her husband just comes home on weekends, but becomes aware of something happening with his children and his wife - they are all happier people and he really enjoys being with them. The book is laid out by seasons, and the 2 stories intertwine. First one, then the other. Miranda learns from the scrapbook and from Jean-Paul and it is not until she finishes the scrapbook that she realizes it was meant for him. So, she tries to find the woman who previously owned the house.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sue CCCP

    2.5 Stars My full review: http://www.coffeecookiesandchilipeppe... Putting the infidelity to one side was not easy for me, but the portrayal of the magic of nature, and the garden in particular, was strong enough to keep me reading. The author obviously has a deep connection with the earth and countryside that shone through in her writing and resonated with my own love of the natural world. I liked how she understood the healing qualities of nature, especially with regards to Miranda’s children wh 2.5 Stars My full review: http://www.coffeecookiesandchilipeppe... Putting the infidelity to one side was not easy for me, but the portrayal of the magic of nature, and the garden in particular, was strong enough to keep me reading. The author obviously has a deep connection with the earth and countryside that shone through in her writing and resonated with my own love of the natural world. I liked how she understood the healing qualities of nature, especially with regards to Miranda’s children who blossom when they are allowed the freedom to explore the world around them. In fact, the vivid descriptions of nature were about the only thing that I enjoyed in the book. Many of the characters are highly annoying and unsympathetic. Miranda is a mother who ignores and resents her children, although she does at least pay some attention to them, unlike David. She is shallow, spoilt, judgmental and snobbish. I was getting very tired of reading about her (insert famous designer name here) shoes / jacket / dress and how she misses going out to (insert famous name here) restaurant / shop. David was simply a selfish, thoughtless adulterer, with no redeeming qualities as far as I could see. Everything Ava does is all about her: she is incredibly selfish. Even before the affair she spends all her time in the garden, ignoring her children and doting husband, though she is consistently portrayed as a perfect wife and mother. Then there is Gus who enjoys beating a donkey with a stick and pulling the legs off spiders: delightful!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dark-Draco

    We found this on a charity stall at the local County Fayre. Mum enjoyed the last book by this author, so we picked it up. Now she's read it, it's been passed on to me. This was the first book I'd read by this author and I did find it quite enjoyable. It's quite a 'gentle' romance, telling the dual stories of two women who live in the same house decades apart. One, Ava, has a happy marriage, a beautiful garden and wonderful kids, but still falls for the young French gardener. The other, Miranda, f We found this on a charity stall at the local County Fayre. Mum enjoyed the last book by this author, so we picked it up. Now she's read it, it's been passed on to me. This was the first book I'd read by this author and I did find it quite enjoyable. It's quite a 'gentle' romance, telling the dual stories of two women who live in the same house decades apart. One, Ava, has a happy marriage, a beautiful garden and wonderful kids, but still falls for the young French gardener. The other, Miranda, finds out her marriage isn't as strong or as happy as she thought, and while struggling to adapt to life in the country, starts to feel attraction for the new gardener! I liked the writing and the style of this book - the characters were reasonably well fleshed out too. For me though, I sometimes felt it lacked just a bit of depth. While the chapters were easy to read and floated by, they sometimes went past without any real development in plot. The secondary storyline (or possible third!) involving Cate, Troy, Jeremy and Harriet was also seemed a bit of an afterthought. There wasn't a huge amount of suspense, but in romance books you sort of know who things will turn out. I would have liked to know more about the scrapbook itself, but it was a nice device to link the two time periods together. Overall, a 'nice' read that might have me picking up other books by this author in the future.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Filipa

    Santa Montefiore has been slowly winning me over. This is the third book I read by her and she has been proving me that she has it in her to write great and delightful stories. Of the three books I've read, this is the second one that I'll be rating 5 stars and that's good news both for me and for the author as I'll definitely keep reading her words. She is really good in writing about love, about people, about lives and also about magic. This French Gardener is adorable. The start wasn't really Santa Montefiore has been slowly winning me over. This is the third book I read by her and she has been proving me that she has it in her to write great and delightful stories. Of the three books I've read, this is the second one that I'll be rating 5 stars and that's good news both for me and for the author as I'll definitely keep reading her words. She is really good in writing about love, about people, about lives and also about magic. This French Gardener is adorable. The start wasn't really promising for me. Not because of the book, the story or the writing but because I felt I wasn't really in the mood after the disappointing book I had read before this one. But after 60 pages or so, I couldn't resist and I just delved into this magic world of gardens and secrets. I'm sucker for both, actually. This book made me think of The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett; I would probably say that this would be a contemporary, adult version of The Secret Garden. It has it all - the curative power of the garden, the growth of characters made possible by caring for the garden, the blossoming of flowers and well as love and personalities. It was quite the irresistible mixture for me and I fell in love with this story and how beautifully it is written. I love gardens and my greatest wish is to be able to have my own secret place like Ava and Miranda do.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bee

    This was yet another started-but-couldn't-get-into book for me, of which I've had my fair share lately. I totally picked it up because of the cover (gorgeous), the title, and the comparison to Rosamunde Pilcher, one of my favorite authors. I just couldn't get more than a quarter of the way through, though, without admitting to defeat. One of the many things I love about Rosamunde Pilcher's books is that I'm immediately sucked in by her characters -- they're interesting, three-dimensional, human, This was yet another started-but-couldn't-get-into book for me, of which I've had my fair share lately. I totally picked it up because of the cover (gorgeous), the title, and the comparison to Rosamunde Pilcher, one of my favorite authors. I just couldn't get more than a quarter of the way through, though, without admitting to defeat. One of the many things I love about Rosamunde Pilcher's books is that I'm immediately sucked in by her characters -- they're interesting, three-dimensional, human, ones I can empathize with even when I disagree with their choices. From the beginning of 'The French Gardener', I could scarcely pick one character I liked even remotely. Each seemed self-centered, petty, and sometimes downright mean, like the vituperative village baker and the odious little boy who, although admittedly neglected by his selfish parents, chose to beat & frighten the neighbor's mule. Jerk. The clincher was the 'everybody is cheating on everybody else' vein running throughout. Meh. I just didn't like anyone enough to wait around and see how their personalities were miraculously transformed by the gardener.

  18. 4 out of 5

    SarahC

    There are several things I liked about this book. The setting was lovely and I do like reading stories that take place in the 1970s (this one partially did). It examines the lives of a modern, troubled couple who create many of their own problems. They decide to find a house in the country to perhaps edify their lives. From there, we learn of an earlier love affair that took place in this beautiful countryside home. The story deals with serious issues of loyalty and life decisions. Even thought There are several things I liked about this book. The setting was lovely and I do like reading stories that take place in the 1970s (this one partially did). It examines the lives of a modern, troubled couple who create many of their own problems. They decide to find a house in the country to perhaps edify their lives. From there, we learn of an earlier love affair that took place in this beautiful countryside home. The story deals with serious issues of loyalty and life decisions. Even thought it is about relationships, it is hard to call it romantic or moving, and ultimately I don't think it was. It didn't really hit the mark on self-exploration either. I thought the back stories were better told than the main turning points in the novel were, so there wasn't a smooth flow throughout. Montefiore obviously holds the gift of beautiful writing, which may be better fulfilled in her other novels.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    This is one of the books that has been lingering on my bookshelf for too long!! Why did I wait? I truly enjoyed this story. The writing was so descriptive, I felt I was along for a walk in the garden. I have read several reviews that include those with a problem concerning the infidelity that is portrayed in this book. Well, my feeling is....it happens. It happens all the time. I felt the author handled this in a manner that gave each of the participants my sympathy and my understanding. A hard th This is one of the books that has been lingering on my bookshelf for too long!! Why did I wait? I truly enjoyed this story. The writing was so descriptive, I felt I was along for a walk in the garden. I have read several reviews that include those with a problem concerning the infidelity that is portrayed in this book. Well, my feeling is....it happens. It happens all the time. I felt the author handled this in a manner that gave each of the participants my sympathy and my understanding. A hard thing for me to say! I was surprised by the amount of sympathy I came to feel for the present day couple in particular because I started out really disliking both the husband and the wife. It seems I have been on a 'garden type book' kick lately. This one is going on the top of my list for those anxiously awaiting spring!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen Mace

    this book covers the gardens at Hartington House over 2 different times - from 2004 and the 1970's. Miranda and David move to the country after their son Gus is expelled and its a big change for them all, especially Miranda as her husband works mainly in London leaving her and the children in Dorset. She sets about rediscovering the gardens that Harrington House was once famous for and with the help of the mysterious French gardener who shows up out of the blue they all begin to discover the hid this book covers the gardens at Hartington House over 2 different times - from 2004 and the 1970's. Miranda and David move to the country after their son Gus is expelled and its a big change for them all, especially Miranda as her husband works mainly in London leaving her and the children in Dorset. She sets about rediscovering the gardens that Harrington House was once famous for and with the help of the mysterious French gardener who shows up out of the blue they all begin to discover the hidden stories and secrets from 30 years ago. The Book flicks between the two timeline stories well and there are always new secrets to keep you reading. Little bit hard to believe that the affairs happen despite the 'happy marriages' but you soon focus on the family picture and the love stories involved

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Prickett

    I loved the writing in this book. It was beautiful and lyrical, melancholy and inspiring. I want to be a better mom and a better wife after reading this. The love story was enthralling in an almost horrific kind of way. In the end, I couldn't hate Ava, although, I am generally not a fan of affair stories. The author seems to make the case that their love was epic and inevitable, but Jean-Paul says himself says that Love is a choice. In the end, though, even though I was determined to be upset at I loved the writing in this book. It was beautiful and lyrical, melancholy and inspiring. I want to be a better mom and a better wife after reading this. The love story was enthralling in an almost horrific kind of way. In the end, I couldn't hate Ava, although, I am generally not a fan of affair stories. The author seems to make the case that their love was epic and inevitable, but Jean-Paul says himself says that Love is a choice. In the end, though, even though I was determined to be upset at the author for breaking up a loving marriage with an affair, I couldn't be. It was a beautiful story and I can't wait to read more from this author.

  22. 5 out of 5

    MomToKippy

    Wellllll, Binchy and Pilcher it is not, but it makes a good attempt. Lovely settings, plot, intertwined lives from different eras, epic love. It has all the right ingredients but somehow the recipe does not all come together. I recently read another Montefiore book and it also follows a similar recipe. Something is lacking and I am sure if I peruse more of the reviews here someone will have said it better than I can. The dialogue and writing tends to be a bit cheesy and the plot twists a bit awk Wellllll, Binchy and Pilcher it is not, but it makes a good attempt. Lovely settings, plot, intertwined lives from different eras, epic love. It has all the right ingredients but somehow the recipe does not all come together. I recently read another Montefiore book and it also follows a similar recipe. Something is lacking and I am sure if I peruse more of the reviews here someone will have said it better than I can. The dialogue and writing tends to be a bit cheesy and the plot twists a bit awkward at times. A little sprinkling of a more seasoned writing style and it would be just right.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    After reading this book, it felt like I just spend 10 hours viewing a Picasso in watercolor and on construction paper. The work was certainly there but the true art of developing a good story was missing. It was a book of many "other" books which gave it little originality. The French Gardener is filled with subterfuges and superficialities, especially when it comes to deep heart issues. Pardon the brevity of my review but I'd rather be curled up near a warm fireplace, reading a really good book After reading this book, it felt like I just spend 10 hours viewing a Picasso in watercolor and on construction paper. The work was certainly there but the true art of developing a good story was missing. It was a book of many "other" books which gave it little originality. The French Gardener is filled with subterfuges and superficialities, especially when it comes to deep heart issues. Pardon the brevity of my review but I'd rather be curled up near a warm fireplace, reading a really good book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I really enjoyed this. The 'past' storyline was so absorbing that it was a jolt when the author switched back to the present. The characters felt very real. A great read! I really enjoyed this. The 'past' storyline was so absorbing that it was a jolt when the author switched back to the present. The characters felt very real. A great read!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    A charming read’

  26. 5 out of 5

    Penny Ogram

    I couldn’t put this book down! A wonderful but sad love story where everything comes right in the end

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lee Ann

    I love the pictures this author paints with words. The garden and grounds are beautifully described and all senses are awakened with her descriptive writing. I have only read one other of her books and she does seem to have a very European view of marital infidelities. Affairs have been a central in each of the novels I have read of hers. There is a story line and a predictable outcome, it is a quick read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Osborn-Evans

    I loved this love story from Santa, it was full of mystery and romance, and the settings were idyllic. I'm going to read more of these. I loved this love story from Santa, it was full of mystery and romance, and the settings were idyllic. I'm going to read more of these.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elisia

    I don't get it...I don't understand how this even got published! It's very rare I give up on books and I admit I came very close with this one but I gave it the benefit of the doubt and read to the end. The Characters...none of them I liked or sympathised with in the slightest, Miranda and David were both superficial, Jean-Paul really needs to see a psychiatrist and Ava and Phillip were unbelievable at best. The children were probably the most realistic, except for Gus! Everyone had long intelli I don't get it...I don't understand how this even got published! It's very rare I give up on books and I admit I came very close with this one but I gave it the benefit of the doubt and read to the end. The Characters...none of them I liked or sympathised with in the slightest, Miranda and David were both superficial, Jean-Paul really needs to see a psychiatrist and Ava and Phillip were unbelievable at best. The children were probably the most realistic, except for Gus! Everyone had long intelligent noses however what makes a nose intelligent I don't know I've never had a conversation with one! I was sick of Cate taunting Henrietta, really if someone spoke to me like that I wouldn't set foot in her coffee shop ever again and make damn sure no one else did either! We had points of view from nearly every character in the book including a donkey and a spider! Seriously! The Plots...1979/80 was an ok story, lady of the manor Ava falls for the young French gardener Jean-Paul who is sent to England to learn about gardening...they have some magnificent gardens in France so why he comes to England is strange except that Ava's husband Philip is friends with JPs dad. So Ava and JP have an affair which only really lasts less than a year until JP is summoned back to is vineyard in Bordeaux. However, he spends the next 26 years pining after her and she him but neither one of them contacts each other....ever! If you're so in love with someone why wait 26 years to contact them? Surely after five or at the very most ten you'd make some sort of move? Surely reason would tell you that after less than a year it wasn't all that much do a deal! If the affair had lasted longer, if Ava had left her husband but something happened to draw her away from JP then fair enough...but a shirt affair I don't think so! 2006 David and Miranda buy Ava's house, everyone seems to know Ava's family but no one really speaks of her even though they've only been in Cornwall for three or four years...didn't their kids have friends in Hartington? How come Ava is so difficult to find? David has an affair in London with Miranda's best friend, it's discovered and Miranda chucks him out...that was about as exciting as this plot line got! Miranda decides to write a book about Ava's love life before she discovers that the man Ava had an affair with is JP. Sub Plots....Henrietta and Jeremy fall in love, they are probably the only characters who are slightly realistic in their love affair and finally they get married, there's the Cate and Nigel story which is barely touched upon, Toddy who suddenly disappears...why didn't Miranda track her down to ask about Ava? Too many flaws, stupid plots, way too many references to the modern world, dull and frankly boring!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I picked up The French Gardener at a local indie bookstore after browsing around, looking at covers, and reading back cover copy (and the first page!). I loved this cover with all the flowers and the woman sitting staring across her garden. It was too pretty to resist! Luckily, the book inside was equally pretty. I had never read anything by Santa Montefiore before (had never heard of her, I must confess), but I will definitely look for more of her books. THE FRENCH GARDENER is told from multipl I picked up The French Gardener at a local indie bookstore after browsing around, looking at covers, and reading back cover copy (and the first page!). I loved this cover with all the flowers and the woman sitting staring across her garden. It was too pretty to resist! Luckily, the book inside was equally pretty. I had never read anything by Santa Montefiore before (had never heard of her, I must confess), but I will definitely look for more of her books. THE FRENCH GARDENER is told from multiple viewpoints (in fact, the narration does quite a bit of head-hopping, which I generally don't like but I got used to it here). The gist of the book is two love stories that are parallel in many ways with each involving a marriage and a betrayal. In both cases, a Frenchman with a green thumb not only helps rebuild a world-class garden on an English estate, but he plants the seeds for growth and love within the families. He also inspires hard choices with often heart-breaking results. If you enjoy novels that deal with life and relationships (and beautiful settings!), pick up THE FRENCH GARDENER and enjoy!

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