The Night Garden
It is World War II, and Franny and her parents, Sina and Old Tom, enjoy a quiet life on a farm on Vancouver Island. Franny writes, Sina sculpts, and Old Tom tends to their many gardens--including the ancient, mysterious night garden. Their peaceful life is interrupted when their neighbor, Crying Alice, begs Sina to watch her children while she goes to visit her husband at the military base because she suspects he's up to no good. Soon after the children move in, letters arrive from their father that suggest he's about to do something to change their lives; and appearances from a stubborn young cook, UFOs, hermits, and ghosts only make life stranger. Can the forbidden night garden that supposedly grants everyone one wish help them all out of trouble? And if so, at what cost?

The Night Garden Details

TitleThe Night Garden
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 12th, 2017
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
ISBN-139780374304522
Rating
GenreChildrens, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Juvenile

The Night Garden Review

  • brooklynnnne
    January 1, 1970
    This was the first Polly Horvath novel that I have read but it most certainly will not be my last!What an incredible, funny, quirky, and enjoyable read. The story was unique, mysterious, and entertaining. From the beginning, I didn't know where it was going to go or what was coming next. The mystery and intrigue lasted throughout and ended with me reading the last quarter at a rapid speed due to the excitement of the adventure. Additionally, this novel was laugh-out-loud funny. I don't even mean This was the first Polly Horvath novel that I have read but it most certainly will not be my last!What an incredible, funny, quirky, and enjoyable read. The story was unique, mysterious, and entertaining. From the beginning, I didn't know where it was going to go or what was coming next. The mystery and intrigue lasted throughout and ended with me reading the last quarter at a rapid speed due to the excitement of the adventure. Additionally, this novel was laugh-out-loud funny. I don't even mean that in a figure of speech way, I am serious. The sarcasm, the subtle jokes, the obvious ones--there were some pretty hilarious moments (do not even get me started on how long I was laughing over the lost Brownies scene). Along with the amazing story, each character had an important role and I enjoyed each one so much that I can't pick a favourite. Franny may have been my favourite for her sarcasm alone but from Sina and Old Tom to Miss Macy and the Hermit, I loved them all. Heck, I even loved the role of Crying Alice and Fixing Bob. Although this book is geared towards a younger audience, trust me on this one: if you enjoy a good, lighthearted, funny, and cute story....you will love this one. It's one of those reads that could easily become a classic as it's timeless and enjoyable for those at any age. This book has a big ol' stamp of approval from me and I will be wholeheartedly recommending it to many. *Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review**
    more
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
  • Munro's Kids
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVE some Poly Horvath books. Everything on a Waffle qualifies as one of my favourite children's books. Ever. Trolls was such a strange blend of whimsy fun and darkness that it also left a strong impression with me. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny delighted me to no end - oh, those crazy stupid bunnies with their all-important detective hats!Others I have been a little bored by, or have failed (gulp) to finish. I'm not sure I could even give you the titles as they made such little impression upon me.The Ni I LOVE some Poly Horvath books. Everything on a Waffle qualifies as one of my favourite children's books. Ever. Trolls was such a strange blend of whimsy fun and darkness that it also left a strong impression with me. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny delighted me to no end - oh, those crazy stupid bunnies with their all-important detective hats!Others I have been a little bored by, or have failed (gulp) to finish. I'm not sure I could even give you the titles as they made such little impression upon me.The Night Garden fell much more into the first category than the second, I am happy to report. Set in Sooke during WWII, the setting is very close to home, which I always appreciate. The characters are admittedly silly and outrageous. Lemony Snicket is not a bad comparison. However, unlike many authors who employ quirky well past the realm of realism, I find Horvath's writing to be FUNNY (NB: I also think Snicket is hilarious. Just not all the impostors). I chuckled my way through The Night Garden's dialogue and the main character's commentary. It wasn't at all realistic, but it was sharp, funny, and an astutely insightful exaggeration of personalities. The touch of the metaphysical also worked fine for me - I liked the Night Garden and the danger it represented, and the trouble it got people into. And while I liked that Horvath shied away from any pat or perfect endings, I would have liked a little more closure on some of the relationships that were developed during the novel (friends were made, and then they departed with very little fuss in either case, and that left me a little adrift). And while I enjoyed the story, I didn't fully notice any point or message to it. Not a terrible thing to have a non-messagy book. But I think my inability to find a main theme points to a certain lack of heart at the core which would have taken it from very enjoyable in my books to a fully excellent read.Good for smarty-pants kids as young as 9 and up to age 13. Lots of fancy words and sophisticated observations. Very good for adults who like kid's books.-Kirsten
    more
  • Josie
    January 1, 1970
    Set in a rural area in 1945 our orphan Fanny together with her guardians must learn to cope with caring for a neighbour's children as their mother goes to stop her husband from doing something terrible. We follow their adventures and the mysterious Night Garden which they are forbidden to enter.To be fair, I really think I am not the target audience for this Tale. I enjoy children's fiction, but it has to be very well written and extremely engaging. The story seemed like it was trying to be a ma Set in a rural area in 1945 our orphan Fanny together with her guardians must learn to cope with caring for a neighbour's children as their mother goes to stop her husband from doing something terrible. We follow their adventures and the mysterious Night Garden which they are forbidden to enter.
To be fair, I really think I am not the target audience for this Tale. I enjoy children's fiction, but it has to be very well written and extremely engaging. The story seemed like it was trying to be a mashup between Anne of Green Gables and A Series of Unfortunate events. The author was trying so hard to make her characters quirky and unique  it just ended up feeling strained. The conversations were so unrealistic, especially the dialogue between adults and children. Everything was so nonsensical....and I mean every single character. This is not generally a writing style that I prefer and therefore struggled through this book. If you enjoyed Tahereh Mafi's Furthermore you might enjoy this more than I.
A copy of this ebook was provided to my through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
for more reviews and other bookish things visit my blog https://unlikelymagic.com
    more
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    A fun and fast read for those who enjoy mystery, unusual characters, and a touch of the supernatural. Perfect for fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Serafina and the Black Cloak, and Greenglass House.
  • Jen Kayna (Habitat for Happiness)
    January 1, 1970
    I would describe this book as a "silly strange story". It's one of those stories that purposely has over-the-top characters (like Crying Alice, a woman who cries all the time. Or like Gladys, who is hired as a cook but constantly burns the food yet never gets fired). The Night Garden is aimed at young readers and hints at the silly writing style in the synopsis, however one thing I was expecting more of was scenes with the night garden itself! The night garden is described as a ancient, forbidde I would describe this book as a "silly strange story". It's one of those stories that purposely has over-the-top characters (like Crying Alice, a woman who cries all the time. Or like Gladys, who is hired as a cook but constantly burns the food yet never gets fired). The Night Garden is aimed at young readers and hints at the silly writing style in the synopsis, however one thing I was expecting more of was scenes with the night garden itself! The night garden is described as a ancient, forbidden garden that can grant everyone a wish, which I thought sounded interesting and hence was the reason I picked up the book. I was a disappointed that barely any time or focus was spent on the night garden. Instead, the book is filled with strange bits and pieces...like alien sightings, and people stealing army planes and ghosts and strange girl scouts. Despite it being so strange, I did still find myself wanting to see what happened at the end, which is why I gave it a 3 stars in the end.
    more
  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    Fantasy genreThe characters are all quirky and not terribly likable. I wish she had taken time to develop them more fully. I've enjoyed her other books and was disappointed by the gaps in this story.
Write a review