Title: Bess’s Magical Garden
Genre: Middle Grade, Children’s Fiction
Publishing date: 21st Oct, 2015
My Rating: 3/5 stars
*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Bess’s mother moves them to Pineview, away from her best friend Megan, and she terribly misses her. Six months earlier, Bess’s father died in a car crash, and she’s also in the midst of recovering from the final stages of polio. She’s in a sad and lonely place. From the moment she and her mother settle into their new home, Bess hears whispering voices and encounters a ghostly figure in the well-kept garden and in her dreams. She can’t make sense of everything and so shares her observations with Megan by writing her regular letters. During the summer, she makes new friends, including an orange and white tomcat that she names Pumpkin, and her new neighbour Josie. With the help of Mrs. O’Toole, the woman who watches her, Bess continues to recover, both physically and emotionally. She becomes more and more curious about the garden and the unexplained clues that she finds there. In Bess’s Magical Garden, Bess discovers her own true strengths through enduring life’s struggles. She – with Josie and Megan’s help – also finds some hidden items in the garden, including a map, that leave the girls with more questions than answers. Who was the figure that visited Bess? Will Bess and her friends be able to uncover the garden’s secrets? Or will those secrets be mysteries forever?
This book covers serious topics in an easy manner. I always thought that teaching how to deal with heavy issues to young minds is easier through stories and this tale is one such proof. Dealing with physical and emotional illness and hoping for the best is portrayed in this book. 😀
It was a no nonsense story from the start to end, no unnecessary page filling, all relevant turns to the story. I like that in a book. I think cutting out all the irrelevant sentences made this book a quick read with just 90 pages. It gives the 1950s vibe and the characters are all very likable. 😀
The mystery to the magical garden comes into attention when Bess starts noticing strange things and then makes a new friend. Having left her best friend behind when she moved is a bit harsh on her in addition to all that she is already dealing with so spending time in the garden, making a new friend and solving the mystery is what keeps her going.
The mystery is kind of hit or miss. Not exactly magical. Some people will like the simplicity of it and some won’t but it still makes for a decent read.
Why would I pick it up?
For a quick read or when I want to read something significant but still with an easy pace. 😀