Firstly I wish to thank Sarah Hardy, representing Bookouture for inviting me on the Blog Tour for The Garden of Lost Memories by Ruby Hummingbird.
Just because you feel ordinary doesn’t mean you aren’t extraordinary to someone else.
Sixty-two-year-old Elsie knows what she likes. Custard creams at four o’clock, jigsaw puzzles with a thousand pieces, her ivy-covered, lavender-scented garden.
Ten-year-old Billy would rather spend his Saturdays kicking a ball, or watching TV, or anything really, other than being babysat by his grumpy neighbour Elsie and being force fed custard creams.
If it was up to them, they’d have nothing to do with each other. Unfortunately, you can’t choose who you live next door to.
But there is always more to people than meets the eye…
Elsie doesn’t know that Billy’s afraid to go to school now, or why his mother woke him up in the middle of the night with an urgent shake, bags already packed, ready to flee their home.
Billy doesn’t know that the rusting red tin he finds buried in Elsie’s treasured garden is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode her carefully organised life. And that when he digs it up, he is unearthing a secret that has lain dormant for twenty-eight years…
This moving tale is for anyone who has ever felt the pang of loneliness, or worried that their broken heart might never be the same again. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, The Keeper of Lost Things and The Library of Lost and Found will fall head over heels for this life-affirming novel that shows us that if you’re willing to take a risk, happiness is only ever a heartbeat away.
I AM DELIGHTED TO SHARE WITH YOU AN EXTRACT FROM THIS BOOK, MY REVIEW WILL FOLLOW WHEN THE WORLD RETURNS TO NORMAL
The hole wasn’t deep, the mud sticking to her hands as she fumbled in the soil. The damp smell of rotting leaves cloyed her nostrils. A fox shrieked and her chest leapt in response. It had started to rain, a light sheen on her skin as she worked, fine droplets mingling with the sweat beading at her hairline. She looked down at the hole, the outline barely visible in the dark.
She filled in the space, worked quickly, goosebumps breaking out on her skin as she knelt on the wet grass. Empty, square glass windows overlooked the spot and she couldn’t stop craning her neck up at them, frightened that someone might hear something, turn a light on, appear in one of them. What would they see as they looked down? She felt her heart race, her breath loud in her ears. Surely she would wake up the neighbourhood?
Her fingers brushed against it, and she snatched her hand back in response, gritted her teeth. Don’t think about it. Then she remembered: she had meant to keep one bit of it. Closing her eyes, she searched with her fingers, located it, drew it out slowly before secreting it in the waistband of her trousers. She felt it close to her flesh, lying on her skin, and her muscles recoiled in disgust.
She was soaked through now, rain dripping from the ends of her short brown hair onto her collar, trailing down her neck like a chilly fingertip. She shivered, teeth chattering. She hadn’t thought to bring a coat; she’d had only one thing on her mind. Now, she knew she had to do it in that moment, didn’t want to wait, to be discovered.
A rustle nearby; she looked over her shoulder. An animal? A person? Familiar shapes no more at night, now indistinct, threatening. She returned to the soil, faster and faster, filling in the gaps, finishing the job, patting down the soil, smoothing it over.
Mud on her palms, under her nails. She would scrub at them with a stiff nailbrush for days, long after it had gone.
Another noise: she must leave. She stood, backed away, eyes not leaving the spot. It was done.
It was buried.
It was over.
HERE, IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ruby Hummingbird is a novelist based in the English countryside. She loves nothing more than writing uplifting and heartwarming fiction that gets her
readers reaching for the tissues. When she isn’t storytelling, she can be found tending to her beloved sunflowers or sipping on hazelnut lattes.