The China Garden by Liz Berry
AR Reading Level: 4.6
On the library stacks: YA Fiction
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Clare Meredith is just finishing high school in London when her mother decides to move back to the countryside so she can nurse an elderly man she knew on the estate near where she grew up. Clare knows very little about her mother's past, but she decides to go with her for a few weeks before she starts college. When she arrives at Ravensmere, Clare starts realizing she's having psychic visions and that her destiny revolves around the house where she's staying.
Published in 1994, I think this book has the disadvantage of being written before its time. It's a fantasy novel that tries to throw in too much--Greek myths, Arthurian legend, Chinese landscape design, and Christian legends, not to mention strong messages of environmentalism, anti-development and anti-business practices. Today a fantasy author would write an entire trilogy about just one of those topics. I did appreciate that the story wrapped up in just one book, but the plot just felt kind of patched together.
There are some good moments in the book. I liked the storyline about Clare's mother in particular. But the romance element started far too late in the book, and was actually kind of creepy and uncomfortable instead of sweet.
7 hours ago