GARDEN OF DREAMS

Author(s): 
Lucy Stiles is thrust into the lives of the Sandifort family. Her solicitor has informed her that she must spend three months under the roof of her guardian, Robert Sandifort, before her birthday, in order to gain her inheritance. Lucy's and Robert's fathers were close friends, which is all the explanation they need for this odd stipulation in her father's will. Although he's the head of his large family, Robert's stepmother, Lady Sandifort, exerts a strange control over all of Robert's many relatives. Amazingly, Lucy steps right in—often nosily so—to situation upon situation that needs repair. Meanwhile, the longtime adoration and friendship she's had with Robert has become oddly tense. Lucy's willingness to help however she can, especially by restoring the gardens to a veritable paradise, wins the hearts of all of Robert's siblings—and eventually Robert's heart as well. Garden of Dreams (4.5) by Valerie King is a family-oriented read. Lucy's unselfish nature is highly admirable, and Robert's pain is palpable. But there's no missing the real joy and love that exists between all of Robert's siblings, which makes this story a warm, delightful read. (May, 256 pp., $4.99)
Reviewed by: 
Robin Taylor