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The Victory Garden

The Secret Garden for adults. That is exactly what The Victory Garden feels like. Set during WWI, The Victory Garden is full of mystery and intrigue with just enough of history thrown in for good measure.

Emily Bryce, to be perfectly honest, is probably feeling a bit bored. Following her mother to visit the wounded soldiers isn’t necessarily how she would like to spend the entire war. Especially not when her best friend is really serving. Then, just as they are planning a magnificent 21st birthday, she happens upon one of the invalid soldiers admiring her family’s gardens.

She and Robbie hit it off right away, and before long they are making plans to get married and join Robbie’s family in Australia. But if you think that this is merely a romance set in WWI (have no fear those will never appear here), wait!

Robbie is soon being sent back to the front, making Emily yearn all that much more to do her own part. So, despite threats of disownment from her parents, she joins the Land Girls. The work his hard, but Emily nonetheless finds herself enjoying the challenge. She particularly enjoys her assignment of keeping the gardens on a widow’s estate.

But before too much longer, more and more tragic news hits Emily. As the war wraps up, Emily finds that she has no place to go. Except, well, except maybe returning to the little cottage and to the widow’s gardens. With two dear friends from Land Girls with her, she heads out to make a life of her own, her Land Girls skills at the ready. And it’s here that Emily takes comfort in the old journal she has discovered. Through it she learns the story of not one, but two former tenants. Their stories are as tragic as her’s, and its because of this that she finds a sense of connection. She learns to cultivate the gardens and to use the many flowers and herbs as medicines, which comes to the aid of the villagers on more than one occasion. But as the past of the garden comes to haunt her, she also finds family in many different places.

The Victory Garden, yes, does have some romance. But it also tells the story of a privileged girl who is willing to throw everything away to serve her country, even when she thinks that means she has no family whatsoever to turn to in times of crises. It also tells the story of the garden. The Garden becomes a place of mystery and refuge and escape for Emily Bryce, much as it did for Mary Lennox.

Genre: Historical Mystery

Classification: Adult

Era: WWI

Goodreads: The Victory Garden


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