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The Seekers’ Garden by Isa Pearl Ritchie


Isa Pearl Ritchie is a very talented New Zealand novelist, and her latest book, The Seekers’ Garden, is simply superb.


With chapters told from differing points of view, the novel weaves a tale with characters that at first seem to have nothing to do with each other until we find out that they are connected in profound ways.


Marcia has recently been widowed, and she leaves her home in the UK to return to her rundown childhood home after decades of being away. As she renovates the home and restores the garden, she also delves into her past. Next door, elderly Mrs Everglade wants to remain in her own home, but a series of falls could see her confined to a rest home.


After a spur-of-the-moment decision, Iris has given up her corporate job and is embarking on writing a book, moving to a small seaside town with her reluctant, aloof sixteen-year-old son, Alex, in tow. Alex doesn’t want to be there until he meets Lea, young, poetic and struggling with depression. They are distracted by young love until things change unexpectedly.


Meanwhile, famous vocalist Zane is touring the world with his band, but he is haunted by strange dreams that eventually lead him to return to New Zealand.


The Seekers’ Garden is expertly plotted, and the characters draw you into each of their worlds until eventually the connections are revealed. It’s a novel of love and loss, of spirituality and questioning the bigger things in life. A thought-provoking, emotionally engaging read.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Te Rā Aroha Press