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Summary

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 28 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. 

©2020 Ruby Hummingbird (P)2020 Bookouture

Critic reviews

"I absolutely loved this…. I couldn’t put it down, grabbing every opportunity to continue…. Heart-wrenchingly sad but also one of the most uplifting and heartwarming books.… It had me crying (and I mean big heaving sobs!!)…. I finished this book last night, and yet here I am 24 hours later still thinking about it!…. Fabulous, amazing, wonderful!!" (Stardust Book Reviews) 

"What a wonderful story this is…. Really touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes…. A real feel-good-factor read that made me glow inside.… A super book. Couldn't have asked for more from this lovely story." (Books from Dusk Till Dawn)  

"What a beautiful book!.… Managed to make me cry with emotion without depressing me at all, then lifted me up with hope and happiness…. I was glad I was all on my own reading this as it made me cry on more than one occasion." (Sandie’s Book Shelves)

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What listeners say about The Garden of Lost Memories

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Thoroughly Satisfying

What a wonderful. heart warming story in which each character learns the power of love. The narration, finely delivered by Naomi Frederick,enables the listener to feel the pain and difficulties experienced by the individual. The final denouement leaves one feeling thoroughly satisfied.

3 people found this helpful

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Well worth a read

Not necessarily what I normally read but this book with its touching story of friendship is beautiful and I would recommend it. I expect most men wouldn't try but they'd be surprised at a good story. I enjoyed the way the chapters were arranged into the people's lives and thoughts. Go on give it a try I'm sure you will love it

1 person found this helpful

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A story to get lost in

Really loved this book. I thought I may struggle whilst reading the first chapter but fell more & more in love with it with each word that passed.
It was lovely seeing a lonely, generational gap being closed by a growing friendship.
One of those books I had to listen whether it was going to bed, doing the dishes or sitting & doing some embroidery!
Beautiful narration also!

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I really enjoyed this

Nice slow and gentle story and read very well by narrator
glad I downloaded it

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A nice gentle story

I listened to this on Audible. Naomi Frederick, brought the story to life with her excellent narration. I enjoyed the gentleness of this story, it made me feel relaxed. The friendship between the boy and the elderly woman started off awkward and uncomfortable but along the way you could see their relationship developing and settling into a genuine, mutual liking of each other.

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A wonderful story of the different layers of life!

An interesting story, full of gentle intrigue and kindness which was unwrapped as 2 generations built bridges to one another 's lives and discovered a world which was so much bigger than they could have ever dreamed of.

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Last 2 hours were the best

Fo me, this is a very slow burner of a book. After the first couple of hours I was wondering if anything was ever going to happen. However, the last couple of hours were really poignant and heartfelt and definitely worth listening to.
To be honest though, this isn't my usual genre and the thrillers I read should not be compared to a contemporary fiction book like this, as it's unfair to expect them to deliver the same wow factor so maybe my opinion of the book is simply because I am not used to the slow pace of contemporary fiction.
Over all, it's a lovely story about loneliness, friendship and loss and like I say, the last couple of hours really deliver a good, interesting story but for me, the rest was a little flat.

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Uplifting

Sympathetic, beautiful, sad it had to end, gripping tramatic journey for Billy. story ended happily

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-07-22

The best book I’ve read in a long time

This is my favorite book that I’ve read in many years. Do yourself a favor and pick it up. I finished it today and am starting it over again right now. An absolutely beautiful story by an author with a superior ability with language.