Top positive review
Adventure, time-travel, romance...it has everything!
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2020
This is the third in the Found Things series, and while I actually haven’t read the first book (yet) I loved the second one The Chocolate House.
Xanthe lives in a little town in the UK, runs an antique shop with her mum, sings in a band, and can time travel. More accurately, she’s one of a handful of Spinners who can spin backward and forward through time. Xanthe just started discovering her gift fairly recently and is still working out how to use it, control it, and who else might be like her.
She is often ‘called to’ by antique objects that have a story to tell, and pulled back through time to right a wrong, or save someone. In this book, a vintage wedding dress starts singing to her and she has to investigate, finding herself in Bradford-on-Avon in 1815, as if she has stepped into a Jane Austen story.
Of course it’s not all smooth sailing. It’s difficult enough to step into an unfamiliar time, but there are also people out to get her and harness her abilities for themselves!
Take some historical fiction, throw in some mystery, a dash of adventure, and a hint of romance and you’ve got The Garden of Promises and Lies. I find the author’s writing is compelling, and I don’t want to put it down, but it somehow also feels like home. The characters and places feel familiar and comforting, despite the fact that they’re fictional and often in a time and place that is obviously not my own.
I am already dying to find out what happens in the next installment (and there better be one) because Xanthe has some serious unfinished business to sort out! The only reason it didn’t get a full five stars from me is that I wanted a little more from Xanthe’s current-day relationships this time around. It felt like the people in her life were introduced in the last book, and while they did evolve through this one, I wanted just a little more depth and connection between them. Having said that, I loved this book so much, and if The Chocolate House is anything to go by I’ll still be thinking about this one a year from now. This author just has a way of crafting characters and stories that stay with you, and revisit your thoughts long after you’ve turned the last page.
I will say that I was able to pick up the second book and follow the story despite not having read the first, but this latest installment builds so much on previous events I do think you should read the other two first. And that’s definitely no hardship, so enjoy!