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The Child Garden

The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson
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A long-lost friend is a stranger you think you know

Eden was its name. "An alternative school for happy children," said the brochure. "A load of hippies running wild in the woods," said the locals. After a suicide it closed its doors and the children scattered.

Thirty years later, it's a care home; its grounds neglected and overgrown, its only neighbour Gloria Harkness, who acts as tenant-caretaker in a rundown farmhouse to be close to her son. Nicky lives in the home, lighting up Gloria's life and breaking her heart every day.

Nicky and a ragbag of animals aren't enough to keep loneliness at bay, and when Gloria's childhood friend and secret sweetheart, Stephen "Stig" Tarrant, turns up at her door one night, all she can see is the boy she knew. She lets him in.

Stig's being stalked by an Eden girl, he says. She has goaded him into meeting her at the site of the suicide. Except that suddenly, after all these years, the dead are beginning to speak and suicide is not what they say.

When the children of Eden were sent out into the world they took a secret with them. And someone is making sure they take it to the grave.

Little, Brown Book Group; September 2015
352 pages; ISBN 9781472122926
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Title: The Child Garden
Author: Catriona McPherson
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