Quick Review: The Garden of Lost Secrets

Just so we are on the same page, there’s the word ‘quick’ in the title for a reason. If you are looking for in-depth criticism, analysis or appreciation of a book, I am also looking for an opportunity to write one and unfortunately, this is not it.

The Garden of Lost Secrets

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I confess myself disappointed that the book was not a fantasy one– I admit, it was my mistake owing to the fact that I didn’t read any blurb about this book and I overread into the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert, the secret room they kept locked, and Clara’s friend, Will. I was even expecting the spiders would reveal a carefully spun secret.

…when an adult said there was nothing to be concerned about, the mere act of saying those words often meant that there was.

A.M. Howell, Garden of Lost Secrets

The narration kept the suspense going. Since the perspective is focused on Clara, I could only follow her side of the story while the rest was carefully hidden from me until it was ready to be revealed: the true identity of the thief, the reason behind Mrs. Gilbert’s change of character and the importance of the Earl’s character.

Like a true Bildungsroman, the novel highlighted Clara’s growth and bravery. Having a father and a brother who joined the army, Clara realized the different facets of being brave and it was not only about giving your life for your country. It was also about choosing to live and support a family like her mother, loving and moving on like her aunt and uncle, favoring the truth than the lie like Will, and having the courage to stand up to an authority for the sake of one’s friend which Clara demonstrated in the latter part of the book.


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