Review: In the Shadow Garden by Liz Parker

Title: In the Shadow Garden

Author: Liz Parker

Publisher: Forever

Published: September 13, 2022

Pages: 336

Format: Forever through Orbit, thank you!!

Goodreads Blurb

“Three generations of witches must discover where their magic went wrong as secrets resurface that could solve a twenty-year-old mystery in this riveting debut, 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 with hints 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 twenty years ago, the town gave up more than one memory for the year; they forgot an entire summer. One person died. One person disappeared. And no one has any idea why.

As secrets from that fateful summer start to come to light, there must be a reckoning between the rival Haywood and Bonner families. But the only clue Irene Haywood has is in her tea leaves: a stranger’s arrival will bring either love or betrayal…”

My Review

I wanted to read this book because of the beautiful cover. I was reading about the author and she stated that this came from her love of gardening and her plants. I also love those things and went into this with high hopes!

I’ve talked about the beautiful cover but the writing itself has beautiful prose. I was very fascinated by the world Parker created surrounding this magical garden. To piggyback off the garden, we have a tea shop that’s also a huge part of this story. All the talk of tea and different kinds of herbs was very cozy. I thought the power these women have to heal and then send that pain into this garden was unique. They take sorrow and the garden creates beauty from it. On the flip side, we have the other side of the coin, with the bourbon distillery and how they can swipe memories rather quickly.

In this town, there’s a huge mystery over one summer. No one can remember what happened except that there was a murder. When a strange arrival starts stirring things up things start to come to light. There’s a wonderful cast of women in this book, on both sides. I was originally a bit confused about who this book focused on. I thought the MC would be Addison but was surprised that it was mostly Irene. I appreciated that storyline more because I love how it wove in the past and present. I was hesitant about the romance between Irene and Kaden at first. It seemed like it was too much of an “instant love.” As we move into the story, things become a bit more clear and make a lot more sense.

Parker did a fabulous job with the magical realism, romance, and mystery in this book. I sped through this book because I just had to know what happened. The magical elements were great and added so much to this story. I do wish we would have gotten some explanation about how it started or where it came from. The flashbacks from past to present had a great flow that I never became lost.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. The ending was a bit sweet but I enjoyed the ride along the way. There are a lot of twists but foreshadowing kind of gives you glimpses of those. It never took away from the story though. I got lost in the cool and cozy vibes. The romances are all very sweet and I loved many of the women in this book.

Many thanks to Orbit and Forever for an ARC to review!

16 thoughts on “Review: In the Shadow Garden by Liz Parker

  1. Pingback: Topplin’ TBR Thursday 9/29/22 | Ali's Books

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