Title: In the Shadow Garden
Author: Liz Parker
Publication Date: September 13, 2022
Genre: Magical Realism, Romance, Mystery
The richly atmospheric and luminous debut about three generations of women whose magic is as much a part of life as love, death, and the rich, dark earth beneath their feet–perfect for fans of Practical Magic and Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe.
There’s something magical about Yarrow, Kentucky. The three empathic witches of the Haywood family are known for their shadow garden—from strawberries that taste like chocolate to cherry tomatoes imbued with the flavors of basil and oregano. Their magic can cure any heartache, and the fruits of their garden bring a special quality to the local bourbon distillery. On one day every year, a shot of Bonner bourbon will make your worst memory disappear. But the Haywoods will never forget the Bonners’ bitter betrayal.
Twenty years ago, the town gave up more than one memory; they forgot an entire summer. One person died. One person disappeared. And no one has any recollection of either.
As events from that fateful summer start to come to light, there must be a reckoning between the rival Haywood and Bonner families. But untangling the deep roots of this town’s terrible secrets will expose more than they could ever imagine about love, treachery, and the true nature of their power.
Why This Book
In the Shadow Garden is a story of magic, romance, mystery, and family, and it’s all set during a bourbon festival in the small town of Yarrow, Kentucky. It follows members of the three founding families and peers into the past as they try to remember what happened twenty years ago when the whole town decided to give up their memories of the entire summer.
And how do they forget? By drinking the Bonners’ bourbon. Made from corn grown from seeds from the magical shadow garden, it has a fascinating power. But this book isn’t all about the bourbon and the families. There’s just a lot of drinking going around. I will admit a bit of it is drinking of tea, but the characters never seem to be short on alcohol, and it inevitably makes an appearance, making for some interesting scenes.
My review: “In the Shadow Garden felt very much like a soft story of magic and family. While there’s some danger and a whole lot of manipulation and even a gross overuse of family powers, I loved the twists and turns. There are some very nice elements in this book, but too much of it felt too easy and other parts felt like the characters were wandering around the main issues in this book”
Jill’s Book Blog gave this 5 stars, saying “This is the kind of book that it’s hard to describe without giving anything away. If you like stories of interwoven generations, you’ll love this”
Becareads gave this a 5, saying “This was amazing and so much more than I was expecting. You get it all – witchy vibes, mystery, romance, betrayal, and exploration of family relationships”
Librarian Laura said “Buckle up for a romantic, intriguing story like you’ve never read before. Parker nailed it with this fresh debut, which will appeal to readers of multiple genres.”
Beguiled by Books gave this 5 stars, saying “The writing is clear and concise. The characters are relatable. The pacing is quick but not rushed. And best of all, the magic works.”
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2 thoughts on “Book Highlight: In the Shadow Garden by Liz Parker”
Thank you so much for linking to my review!!!
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You’re welcome! Happy to!