The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Advanced Readers Copy Review
I'm not sure if I've ever started a review with OMG, but OMG! What a great book! The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier is a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan nominee this year which is why I read it AND it's also an advanced readers copy that I had. The story begins with Molly and Kip who are two orphans from Ireland who are on their way to the Windsor home to work as servants. They lost their parents at sea after they fled Ireland during the Great Famine. Now Molly, 14, and Kip, 10, need a place to live. There was something strange about the house and the family from the very beginning, but things soon became more strange with the first visit from who the Windsor daughter, Penny, calls the night man. Things got stranger still when Molly borrowed the key to the green door at the top of the stairs. Inside the door Molly found letters from her parents hidden in the knot hole of the old tree that grew too close to the house. Molly wasn't alone. Everyone was getting something from the tree and tree was getting something in return.
I found The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier to be a classic thriller. There were parts that had me physically cringing and afraid to read on and then there were parts that had me crying which was weird since I was sitting in a gym waiting for my daughter. The story line was intricate and well thought out and as twisted as the tree itself. There were several poignant moments of wisdom and reality especially between Hestor Kettle and the kids. The characters in The Night Gardener were rich and developed. I really felt for Molly who spent so much energy protecting Kip from the truth through her stories that she forgot her own insecurities. It was amazing to see Kip grow from a naive kid to a young man able to handle the truths around him. Mr. Windsor reeked of desperation as much as Mrs. Windsor reeked of longing. The characters were believable which helped to create a rich story.
I highly recommend The Nigh Gardener by Jonathan Auxier to 12 years of age and older. Adults...you too! It's a thrilling story you're going to love!!!
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