Searching For Answers
The Garden Of Lost Secrets by A.M. Howell is a wonderful children’s historical novel, just perfect for ages ten years and over.
The action is set in 1916, halfway through the first World War and seen through the eyes of Clara, a young girl. She is already scarred by events as her father was a victim of mustard gas.
Fear seems to be a natural state of affairs after being sent to stay with an aunt and uncle in the countryside. Everything is new, her aunt is not the friendly person she once was, and her brother is still at the Front. Clara has to adapt and rely on her strength of character. Like many, she is also holding onto a secret that is weighing her down.
Everyone responds differently to grief. We have to follow whichever pathway seems right to us in order to get us through.
We witness the generosity of people to help the soldiers billeted nearby.
There are several mysteries to solve. Clara is determined to uncover the secrets of those acting suspiciously around her.
Everyone is in charge of their own choices. If we make poor choices, we must not deflect them onto others. Sometimes life events are out of our control but we can still choose how to respond to them.
I really enjoyed The Garden Of Lost Secrets. The characters were realistic and well drawn. The story captured my attention from the start. I am looking forward to much more from A.M. Howells.