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  • Writer's pictureKenneth

The Garden of Bewitchment by Catherine Cavendish

Updated: Nov 15, 2020

Another glorious day, another Flame Tree Press release!

So, today we have the latest release from Flame Tree Press, namely The Garden of Bewitchment by Catherine Cavendish.

Quite a fitting cover.

The Garden of Bewitchment:

Don't play the game. In 1893, Evelyn and Claire leave their home in a Yorkshire town for life in a rural retreat on their beloved moors. But when a strange toy garden mysteriously appears, a chain of increasingly terrifying events is unleashed. Neighbour Matthew Dixon befriends Evelyn, but seems to have more than one secret to hide. Then the horror really begins. The Garden of Bewitchment is all too real and something is threatening the lives and sanity of the women. Evelyn no longer knows who - or what - to believe. And time is running out.

I had never read anything by Catherine Cavendish before, but after reading the blurb for The Garden of Bewitchment I quickly felt I had to remedy my error, so I did!

First of all, if you were to ask me what kind of books someone named Catherine Cavendish would write, then I would say ghostly horror story, possibly set in the late nineteenth century, lo and behold that is when The Garden of Bewitchment is all about!

Now, I do enjoy a good horror story set in the past, and when it is an atmospheric well written tale, well, that just all the better.

In this tale we follow Evelyn and Claire, twin sisters and (correct me if I am wrong) spinsters, they are polar opposites, Evelyn is outgoing and organized, while Claire is shut in and messy.

Also, Claire believes she is romantically involved with Branwell Brontë, the brother of the Brontë sisters, only problem, he’s been dead for over 40 years.

The sisters leave their childhood home for a cosy cottage called Heather Cottage located in a small village next to the moors. After they move into their new home, strange things start happening, an unsettling toy house called The Garden of Bewitchment appears and no matter how many times Evelyn and Claire get rid of it, it always comes back. and Evelyn starts hearing a mans voice coming from Claire’s bedroom at night.

The plot thickens as one of their new neighbours Matthew has had his own encounters with the same toy when he was a child.

Things turns for the worse when the garden and house appears on the moors, and all its horrors are revealed.

So, what can we say about The Garden of Bewitchment? This is a well written and atmospheric tale! In my mind when it comes to historical fiction great atmosphere is essential. Cavendish has captured the essence of late nineteenth century in this book. The prim and proper conversations and the subtle social cues are rendered neatly here.

Evelyn and Claire are great polar opposites, even though they are identical twins, they do not feel the same. Other characters (except for Matthew) are not focused so much on, but still, even the smallest of character do not feel one or two-dimensional, they feel realistic.

The deeper we get into the story the more surreal it all gets, I do love it when a story makes me go “I think I have figured things out now (turns a page) nope, still clueless”, but as one reads on the clearer it all becomes.

The only problem for me here is that the story ended to soon!

In the end, for me this is another great read from Flame Tree Press, and Catherine Cavendish is an author I need to read more of! Now, excuse me while I go and order myself a copy of The Haunting of Henderson Close.


I give this book 4/5 mysterious toy gardens.


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