The French GardenerSanta Montefiore
407 pages paperback
The novel started pretty slow as it necessarily exposes the main characters of the present time. I was almost ready to give up the book as a wrong choice when suddenly the time came for the exposure of the main characters of the past. From then on, the shift from present and past became a warm reading. This is understandable anyway because the author started the story in autumn. From there, the reading is ever-flowing like seasons indeed. Expect for summer endings for both past and present characters.
Aside from the cottage garden which gives us insights as to the English flower culture with exploding colors of flowers as well as vegetation, the novel also led us to various explosions involving many shades of love, from mere lust to true love, from familial love to honoring love of one's self coming from the main characters up to the minute characters in the novel. Love indeed springs up from many wells.
What I really found a bit funny is how the author just convinced me through and through that the French Gardener is handsome when all she did was describe him as such. I was even looking for adjectives along the way that will make me decide on my own that he is indeed handsome but then I just ended up accepting the fact as served: His smile simply melts women, and he's French!
What I like about the novel is that it presents an opportunity for the sensible reader to assess all forms of love. As for me, I most wish to be a well of love like a gardener who gives love in all he does and patiently waits for the magic to come out in the form of bursting flowers, lush vegetation and valued relationships. Spread love for the sake of love. Just let it be.