Book review: The White Garden

I just finished The White Garden by Stephanie Barron. I confess it wasn’t the Virginia Woolf reference, or the fact the story takes place in modern day England that made me pick up the book. It was the title.
I naively expected a story of the evening magic in a garden planted in white flowers, or maybe the mysteries of plants that bloom white, or have leaves of white. This is not that story. The main character, Jo Bellamy, is a landscape architect from the United States working on copying a well-known English garden at Sissinghurst where Vita Sackville-West lived. Jo comes from a family of gardeners, but that is about as much gardening one gets in the story line. Instead, as I should have known, the main plot is about a deep dark mystery of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West.
We visit historical locations and colleges, which I assume are indeed real places–I’ll be checking with my daughter in Cambridge UK–all very charming and interesting. We also step a bit into Sotheby’s rare book world. I did get engaged into the story enough to want to know more about these things and people but frankly the ending was predictable and fizzled for me. It could be because I am not a Virginia Woolf fan, nor am I savvy about that era or world. What I do know is gardening, and on that alone this was a disappointing read.

About Robin Arnold

Reader, writer, gardener, geek, maker of homes in several states, now settled in Virginia with husband Bob, and Hazel and Wilson the tabby cats.
This entry was posted in Books. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s