Spring is beginning to bloom around us and this year we have a lot of time to read on our hands… So, I thought we should bring spring indoors and take a look at some floral named and spring-themed books that we can read throughout the lockdown.
From the classics Daisy Miller and The Torrents of Spring to newer releases such as Stealing Roses and The Garden of Lost and Found, there is a spring read here in here for everyone!
Garden of Lost and Found
By Harriet Evans
“Nightingale House, 1919. Liddy Horner discovers her husband, the world-famous artist Sir Edward Horner, burning his best-known painting The Garden of Lost and Found days before his sudden death.
Nightingale House was the Horner family’s beloved home – a gem of design created to inspire happiness – and it was here Ned painted The Garden of Lost and Found, capturing his children on a perfect day, playing in the rambling Eden he and Liddy made for them.
One magical moment. Before it, all came tumbling down…
When Ned and Liddy’s great-granddaughter Juliet is sent the key to Nightingale House, she opens the door onto a forgotten world. The households its mysteries close but she is in search of answers. For who would choose to destroy what they love most? Whether Ned’s masterpiece – or, in Juliet’s case, her own children’s happiness.
Something shattered this corner of paradise. But what?”
Magic and art in a historical fiction novel sound like perfection to me. The Garden of Lost and Found, published in April 2019 and written by Harriet Evans has received huge praise, being described as a “gorgeous must-read”.
This is currently on my TBR list and I can’t wait to get lost in the magical world of The Garden of Lost and Found.
The Secret Garden
By Frances Hodgson Burnett
Another garden-themed book! You may think that The Secret Garden is simply a child’s book. But do not let that stop you from enjoying one of the most magical stories written. The Secret Garden can be enjoyed at any age and makes for the perfect spring-time read about a girl who finds a magical garden.
“When Mary Lennox is sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody says she is the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It is true, too. Mary is pale, spoilt and quite contrary. But she is also horribly lonely. Then one day she hears about a garden in the grounds of the Manor that has been kept locked and hidden for years. And when a friendly robin helps Mary find the key, she discovers the most magical place anyone could imagine…”
By Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury penned this classic with his own childhood in mind and it shows through every page of the book. This classic novel manages to transport you back to a time where things were simpler and a little more magical.
“An endearing classic of childhood memories of an idyllic midwestern summer from the celebrated author of ‘Fahrenheit 451’. “He stood at the open window in the dark, took a deep breath and exhaled. The street lights, like candles on a black cake, went out. He exhaled again and again and the stars began to vanish. Douglas smiled. He pointed a finger. There, and there. Now over here, and here. . . Yellow squares were cut in the dim morning earth as house lights winked slowly on. A sprinkle of windows came suddenly alight miles off in dawn country. ‘Everyone yawn. Everyone up.'” In the backwaters of Illinois, Douglas Spaulding’s grandfather makes an intoxicating brew from harvested dandelions. ‘Dandelion Wine’ is a quirky, breathtaking coming-of-age story from one of science fiction’s greatest writers. Distilling his experiences into “Rites & Ceremonies” and “Discoveries & Revelations”, the young Spaulding wistfully ponders over magical tennis shoes, and machines for every purpose from time travel to happiness and silent travel. Based upon Bradbury’s own experiences growing up in Waukegan in the 1920s, ‘Dandelion Wine’ is a heady mixture of fond memory, forgiveness, magic, the imagination and above all, of summers that seemed to go on forever.”
The Torrents of Spring
By Ivan Turgenev
The Torrents of Spring stayed with me a long time after reading it and I still often think about the sentiment behind it today. The book is written as Turgenev is slightly older and is looking back through his life, because of this, the book offers a lot of knowledgable life lessons.
I loved this book so much when I read it, I had to write a review for it, which you can find here!
“Returning to Russia from a tour in Italy, twenty-three-year-old Dimitry Sanin breaks his journey in Frankfurt. There he encounters the beautiful Gemma Roselli, who works in her parents’ patisserie, and falls deeply and deliriously in love for the first time. Convinced that nothing can come in the way of everlasting happiness with his fiancée, Dimitry impetuously decides to begin a new life and sell his Russian estates. But when he meets the potential buyer, the intriguing Madame Polozov, his youthful vulnerability makes him prey for a darker, destructive infatuation. A novel of haunting beauty, Spring Torrents (1870-1) is a fascinating, partly autobiographical account of one of Turgenev’s favourite themes – a man’s inability to love without losing his innocence and becoming enslaved to obsessive passions.”
By Janet Fitch
“White Oleander is a painfully beautiful first novel about a young girl growing up the hard way. It is a powerful story of mothers and daughters, their ambiguous alliances, their selfish love and cruel behaviour, and the search for love and identity. Astrid has been raised by her mother, a beautiful, headstrong poet. Astrid forgives her everything as her world revolves around this beautiful creature until Ingrid murders a former lover and is imprisoned for life. Astrid’s fierce determination to survive and be loved makes her an unforgettable figure.”
By Heather Cooper
This historical fiction novel is perfect to read in the garden this spring. Stealing Roses takes you on a stunning journey through the Isle of White and with Heather Cooper’s beautiful imagery and a gentle spring breeze through your hair, you will imagine that you are really there.
“1862. Growing up in the small seaside town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight, free-spirited Eveline Stanhope feels trapped by the weight of expectation from her well-to-do family. Her mother and two elder sisters would rather she focus her attention on marrying well, preferably to the wealthy Charles Sandham, but Eveline wants more for herself, and the arrival of the railway provides just the cause she’s been searching for. Driven by the cherished memories of her late father, Eveline is keen to preserve the landscape he loved so much and becomes closely involved with the project. She forms a growing attachment to engineer Thomas Armitage. But when the railway is complete and Thomas moves on, will Eveline wish to return to the way things were?”
The Enchanted April
By Elizabeth von Arnim
A classic story about rediscovering yourself and happiness. If you are looking for something to cheer yourself up over the coming days, this is the perfect read to help you forget the rest of the world.
“The discreet advertisement in The Times, addressed ‘To Those who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine’, offers a small medieval castle for rent, above a bay on the Italian Riviera. Four very different women – the dishevelled and downtrodden Mrs Wilkins, the sad, sweet-faced Mrs Arbuthnot, the formidable widow Mrs Fisher and the ravishing socialite Lady Caroline Dester – are drawn to the shores of the Mediterranean that April. As each, in turn, blossoms in the warmth of the Italian spring and finds their spirits stirring, quite unexpected changes occur.”
By Henry James
Perhaps not as light-hearted as the former book on this list, Daisy Miller is a tragic but beautiful story about a young American woman travelling in Europe. It is just a short novella and is perfect to spend an afternoon with. Although, make sure you have a box of tissues at hand…
“Daisy Miller” is Henry James’s classic story of a young American woman who while travelling in Europe is courted by Frederick Winterbourne. Originally published in The Cornhill Magazine in 1878, “Daisy Miller” is a novel that plays upon the contrast between American and European society that is common to James’s work. The title character’s youthful innocence is sharply contrasted with the sophistication of European society in this fatefully tragic tale.”
Still looking for a spring read? Take a look at my most anticipated spring book releases!