In the main story, The Winter Garden, the story reminded me the Secret Garden, one of my favorite young adult novel when I was young. The setting is a Victorian undefined city, perhaps even London, the time is beginning of XIX century. The plot develops around two boys, to a modern concept teenagers, but for the time, practically adult; and indeed one of them, is already working with his father, behaving like a young man, drinking and talking of girls; the other instead is sheltered by his own parents due to his weak constitution and mostly spends his time in their walled garden, the same wall that the other boy climbs to meet with him and turn upside down that sheltered life.
While to an adult eyes, you can see it’s a romance between the two boys, to a reader of the same age it can be the story of a friendship lasting forever, cause no sex, not even a kiss is shared between the two boys. But that doesn’t mean the feelings are less stronger, or not real; they are so strong and real that will overcome even the realm of possible to become fantastical. That is another asset of this author, the ability to mix reality with fantasy and still maintain the story touching and moving, near to the heart of the reader. I personally was really moved by the story of these two boys, and even if they have their happily ever after, it’s bittersweet.
Amazon: The Winter Garden and Other Stories
Amazon Kindle: The Winter Garden
Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 10, 2012)
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