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The Water Garden


Sarah has given up her career and moved to the countryside to bring up her two young children, while her husband works long hours in London. Alone, she explores the fields and the woods near her home and discovers a lake, a memorial bench for a boy who drowned in mysterious circumstances, and Finn, a beautiful troubled teenager who plays truant from school. As Sarah pieces the mystery together, an uncomfortable attraction between Sarah and Finn builds. She knows that this blossoming relationship is wrong but the chemistry between them is difficult to resist. Their relationship reaches a climax over one hot summer, threatening to destroy everything that she holds dear.

Woven into Sarah’s story are the voices of two other women connected to her family – Maggie, the RAF nurse, and Flavia, the Italian girl. As their stories unfold, a secret is revealed, binding Sarah and Finn in a way that they would never guess.

The Water Garden is about family secrets, guilt, and redemption. It tells the story of a 30-year old full-time mother who becomes attracted to a troubled teenage boy. The novel looks at the challenges of balancing a woman’s loyalty towards, and love for, her family, with her loyalty to herself. It considers motherhood in a unique way, exploring it in extreme circumstances: there are few stories about relationships between wives/mothers and teenage boys. The story is sometimes uncomfortable to read – and is meant to be, challenging social norms and expectations.

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