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ARC Review: The Winter Garden by Alexandra Bell


On the night her mother dies, 8-year-old Beatrice receives an invitation to the mysterious Winter Garden. A place of wonder and magic, filled with all manner of strange and spectacular flora and fauna, the garden is her solace every night for seven days. But when the garden disappears, and no one believes her story, Beatrice is left to wonder if it were truly real.

Eighteen years later, on the eve of her wedding to a man her late father approved of but she does not love, Beatrice makes the decision to throw off the expectations of Victorian English society and search for the garden. But when both she and her closest friend, Rosa, receive invitations to compete to create spectacular pleasure gardens – with the prize being one wish from the last of the Winter Garden’s magic – she realises she may be closer to finding it than she ever imagined.

Now all she has to do is win.


The Winter Garden is a beautiful and magical book which has been exquisitely written. I was completely swept up in this rich and powerful story and I couldn’t put it down. This is an intricately woven tale with an amazing world which is so vividly described.  The pleasure gardens in particularly are described in such exquisite detail conjuring up gorgeous images of the surroundings and transporting you to the cold snowy and sparkling landscapes.  The descriptions of the flowers and animals are breathtaking and the clockwork animals are amazing and also quite frightening.  The book has it’s own unique atmosphere which shifts from a beautiful fairytale to something quite dark and sinister. 

The characters have depth and complexity and even though none of them are particularly likeable I was completely drawn to them all.  The main protagonist Beatrice is the most fascinating of characters, although Rosa became just as intriguing with the introduction of her narrative partway through.  Both are strong women forging their way in a male dominated society, a Victorian period in time in which it was not an easy place for women.

This book completely captured my imagination, and with the snowy scenes and sheer magic of it all it would make the perfect Christmas read.  A dreamy and wondrous book which was an absolute joy to read.

Publisher:  Del Ray
Publication Date (UK):  2 September 2021
Format:  Hardback
Page Count:  528
Genre:  Fantasy
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please follow me on Instagram , Goodreads or Twitter

Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊 

Happy reading!


Twisted in Pages Blog


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