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The Last Garden in England

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: January 12th 2021 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Scotland, 2021. Emma is commissioned to restore a historic garden at Highbury House. She strives for historical accuracy in re-creating a garden. And thats the part I enjoyed the most in this story. The process of finding any kind of trace, a drawing or a picture, that would lead her in the right direction. The story is also consumed by her relationship with her parents. And her moms regret that Emma didnt go to college. Instead, she took a course in garden design and opened her own
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

I am in awe of this book. First the all honesty I saw historical fiction and the cover and fell in love. Second, I cannot find the words to successfully articulate the impact the book had on me. I loved the three timelines and the different points of view from three very strong women. I really cared about all the characters that Julia Kelly created and that is truly a sign of a brilliant read.

The vivid descriptions in this book had my imagination on overdrive as I thought of
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly is an excellent historical fiction novel that is a triple timeline story that weaves together to create a beautiful and amazing book that kept me riveted from beginning to end.

I have been a huge fan of Ms. Kelly for quite a while now. I loved her previous two books: The Light Over London and The Whispers of War. When I saw that she had a new book coming out, I knew I had to read it. And it most certainly did not disappoint.

There were so many things I
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such a good book! It centered on a British garden in three different time periods and I loved all three stories. I dont know much (anything) about gardening but I could picture this one quite well.

Im curious about the authors choice to set the present day story line in 2021. Is that how authors are going to handle 2020? Just skip over it as if it didnt happen? Fine with me!

This is the second book Ive read by Julia Kelly and Im adding her to my list of must read authors.

Thank you to
Sydney Long
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads
When I saw Julia Kellys name pop up on NetGalley, I immediately requested the book without even reading the description. Im a huge fan of Kelly and the cast of characters she creates. She effortlessly laced multigenerational characters with a common theme, place or object. And my instincts were 100% dead on...The Last Garden of England is FANTASTIC!

Last Garden weaves together the lives of several strong, independent women from present day and all the way back to the early 1900s. The common
Karen KK
I received this from

Set in three timelines. 1907: Venetia Smith, 1944: Beth Pedley, Present day: Emma Lovett are all involved with Highbury House Gardens.

I enjoyed all the gardening stuff, the designing/planning and how different flowers/shrubbery would mature and create the garden rooms. I spent much time looking at pictures of the flowers that were mentioned. But, there were very familiar storylines making this an uncomplicated (boring?) predictable read.

Annissa Joy Armstrong
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book by Julia Kelly is stellar!!! There are 3 timelines...1907/1944/2021. The story revolves around the gardens at Highbury House.

Venetia is the first one to begin work on the gardens but is forced to leave before her work is done and leaves for America to start a new life after some scandal/tragedy.

In the 1944 timeline, Diana is the new the owner of Highbury and it has been taken over by the government as a hospital during the war. Stella works in the kitchen and Beth works on the land at
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Netgalley ♥ it's January 1908. She walks in the winter garden surrounded by Christmas Roses. I loved the opening descriptions.bthen it's February 2021 and Emma is meeting with clients. I liked reading about Emma's work in the winter garden. I loved going back and time and reading about the past. I loved reading about the beginnings of the garden. I loved the characters and seeing how they would connect to the present. ...more
Genevieve Graham
Bestselling author Julia Kelly plants the seed of an idea, nurtures it into a vivid, intriguing seedling, then fertilizes, prunes, and shapes its various twisting branches into a stunning garden. Connected across the decades by a garden in desperate need of their care, three fascinating women grow alongside one another, shedding secrets and insecurities, eventually blooming with self-realization, hope, and love.
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing

"Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee." --Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

OH WOW! How I loved this wonderful, wholesome gem of a novel. It was so bright written with Julia Kelly's love of her character's. I would give it 100 stars if I could. I also loved every single one of the character's. They were deep and thoughtful to each other. It is an intricately told tale about our humanity coming together for the greater good of working together to make
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-2020
This story is told in three different timelines but centered around one very special garden at Highbury House in England.
1907: Venetia Smith is hired to design a garden for this beautiful home. She fashions several small garden "rooms" such as the tea garden, children's garden, and the winter garden. When her client requests that she use her brother's roses instead of the variety she had planned, Venetia is initially frustrated but becomes pleasantly surprised by the roses and by Matthew
Kimberly Mussell
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Julia Kelly has a way with words. The Last Garden in England was so captivating and fresh. This is historical fiction with not two eras, but three! I love the travel through the ages and learning about each stage and life of the gardens.
It was like three stories for the price of one. Even though there are numerous characters, Julia has them so well developed that the story just flows. This is one novel that I didnt want to end. Thank you NetGalley and Julia Kelly!
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I loved the concept of this book far more than the execution. I have always been curious about the concept and execution of a majestic, monumental British garden and the idea of following the history of a significant (if fictional) one for 100 years was really enticing.

But, somehow I didn't find the magic I was looking for in this book. The concept of a garden as a statement of wealth and "taste" was not new to me, but the lack of heart and emotion in the couple who commissioned "The Last Garden
*This book was received as an Advanced Reviewer's Copy from NetGalley.

The Last Garden in England is the first book I've read of Kelly's . Choosing to situate her book in three different time periods, they all revolve around the same garden, and the lives of the women who touched that garden.

Venetia is a garden designer in the first decade of the 20th century. Known for her designs and use of non-traditional styles, she's made a name for herself. Now, working on a new garden, she finds
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was was immediately drawn to this book when I saw the cover on Instagram. I mean who does not love an English garden? The book, which is set in England, specifically the village of Highbury, was told during three different time frames, by Venetia Smith, a garden designer in 1907, in 1844 by Land Girl, Beth Pedley, cook at Highbury House, Stella Adderton, the mistress of Highbury House, Diana Symonds and present day by garden designer, Emma Lovett. Venetias story is of particular interest as ...more
Rachel Page
Dec 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2020
This was my first giveaway win! I was excited to read this advance copy.

I really enjoyed this book, but it gets 3 stars instead of 4 for a few reasons:

1) There are too many women in the book (that sounded horrible, but hear me out...). This novel follows five women, but three of them are directly tied to each other in the same time period. It seemed so unbalanced. The perspective of only one of these women was written in first person. I understand why this decision was made, but sometimes I
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
This was a lovely book all around. Although described as the alternating viewpoints and timelines of three women, it really was five women, as all played important roles in weaving and connecting the threads of the story.

Its also a good novel for anyone who loves gardening. It alternates between Venetia, an unconventional garden designer in 1907 England, to Beth, a land girl in 1944 who finally finds her home, and finally Emma, a modern-day garden designer at a crossroads in her life and
Norma McCall
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Let me start off by saying that this was my first read by Julia Kelly and it most definitely will not be my last. The Last Garden in England was such a gem. I didnt want it to end!

I really enjoy a book that has alternating viewpoints and was blown away by the fluidity between all three timelines.

Kelly showed a great amount of care building each character profile. While each individual had their differences, the finite details spotlighted their similarities.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure I was going to like this one, with five different POVs, but they're done so well, I kept reading from chapter to chapter, looking to get more of each story.

The first POV is Emma in the present day. She's hired to restore the gardens at Highbury House estate.

In 1907, there's Venetia, the designer of the gardens. She's hired to come up with the original design on the garden rooms.

And then, in 1944, there are three women Diana, whose husband left her Highbury House, her cook,
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Three womens lives are intertwined within a Garden of a stately home during different time periods! The author writes so poignantly and it is almost as you are strolling amongst the hedges and flowers and walking the floors of Highbury House!

We follow the loves and lives of present day Emma who is there to restore the gardens. We endure the hardships of Landgirl Beth as she witnesses the devastation around Highbury Estate during the time of 1944 War torn England. Then there is the woman who
*Received an arc from NetGalley; all my comments are my own.

4.5 stars. Beautiful. At first I though 5 points of view over three time periods would be too much; but it wasn't. Just a lovely story about a garden connecting women throughout several generations. A touch of romance involved; but more of a story about the resiliency of women (and plants). Thoroughly enjoyable.
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction set in England is my favorite genre and the Last Garden in England does not disappoint. Focusing on women in three separate time periods connected by a garden at Highbury Estate in the English countryside, the book provides great period detail, intricately drawn characterizations of strong women, and believable dialogue.

The first time period, 1907, features Venetia Smith, a garden designer in Edwardian England, who falls in love with the brother of the mistress of the house
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Emma Lovell's small landscape gardening company has been hired to bring the historic gardens of Highbury House back to life by Sydney Wilcox and her husband. The gardens were designed by Venetia Smith, one of a few female landscape gardeners working in 1907 England. During World War II the house had been requisitioned by the government for use as a rehabilitation center for wounded soldiers, with recently widowed Diana Symonds trying to maintain her house and family. Land girl Beth is working on ...more
Cory Beyer
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. This garden has lived through 3 amazing women. Venetia designed this grand estate garden, Beth was a "land woman" during WWII and present day Emma has been hired to bring the garden back to its original glory after a portion was allocated to a farm garden to feed the troops. Each women has an impactful time during their stay while also having their own secrets. I thought this book was good. #thelastgardeninengland #juliakelly #Jan2021
Vicki Boster
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.... every.single. page. A story told in triple timelines... and yet it was easy to move between them. An absolutely fantastic story... I did not want it to end.

Thank you to Net Galley for an advanced copy of this book. My review is my own and is in no way required by the publisher.
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Last Garden in England was a thoroughly engaging novel; I read this book in one day. The story revolves around the planting and restoration of a large garden, which surrounds a country house, from the early 1900s to current day. We follow the story of three women's lives set against the backdrop of this house and garden. I enjoyed learning about garden design and the role of the Land Girls and convalescent hospitals durning WW II. There is enough of a mystery feel to the book that I found ...more
Sue  Gerth
Nov 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I zipped through this novel and enjoyed it very much. Anyone who has a passion or interest in gardening will love it, too. Historical fiction set in three different time periods, but easy to follow.

Here's my review:
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ah, a very satisfying ending for the most part. I think the three non-main character stories could have been reduced to one viewpoint, maybe Diana's?, but otherwise loved the book! Someday I will get to the great gardens of England!

*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my review*
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it
The Last Garden in England is set during two of my favorite time periods and is compared to Kate Morton's The Lake House, so my expectations were very high. While I enjoyed reading this book, especially Venetia's storyline, I felt a bit let down. I didn't feel like the book went deep enough with three of the five women who make up the book's five main characters. I wanted more connection with them, especially Beth and Stella. I also found myself wishing Venetia's chapters would be longer and ...more
Carol Perreault
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fromnetgalley
A lovely story of an English garden thru the ages. Designed and built in early 1900 it contained "rooms". During WW2 the garden was almost destroyed. And in present day it is being restored. What a story!
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Julia Kelly is the international bestselling author of sweeping WWII novels about ordinary women and their extraordinary stories told from the British Home Front. In addition to writing, shes been an Emmy-nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London. Readers can visit ...more

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