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Night Gardener
Cover of Night Gardener
Night Gardener
When orphaned Irish siblings Molly and Kip arrive to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house, they discover that the house and its inhabitants are not what they seem. Soon the...
When orphaned Irish siblings Molly and Kip arrive to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house, they discover that the house and its inhabitants are not what they seem. Soon the...
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  • When orphaned Irish siblings Molly and Kip arrive to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house, they discover that the house and its inhabitants are not what they seem. Soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and the secrets of the cursed house will change their lives forever. This much-anticipated follow up to Jonathan Auxier's exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a Victorian mystery in the tradition of Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe. The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.

 

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Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Storyteller at the Crossroads

    the calendar said early March, but the smell in the air said late October. A crisp sun shone over Cellar Hollow, melting the final bits of ice from the bare trees. Steam rose from the soil like a

    phantom, carrying with it a whisper of autumn smoke that had been lying dormant in the frosty underground. Squinting through the trees, you could just make out the winding path that ran from the village all the way to the woods in the south. People seldom traveled in that direction, but on this March-morning-that-felt-like-October, a horse and cart rattled down the road. It was a fish cart with a broken back wheel and no fish. Riding atop the bench were two children, a girl and a boy, both with striking red hair. The girl was named Molly, and the boy, her brother, was Kip.

    And they were riding to their deaths.

    This, at least, was what Molly had been told by no fewer than a dozen people as they traveled from farm to farm in search of the Windsor estate. Every person they spoke to muttered something omi- nous about "sour woods" and then refused to tell them more.

    "The Windsors?" said one lanky shepherd, whom Molly had stopped in the road. "I'd just as soon lead my flock to a lion's den." He propped himself against his crook, eyeing Molly from heel to head the way that men sometimes did.

    "Bethatasitmay,"Mollysaidinhermostpolitevoice,"it'swhere we need to be. The Windsors were expectin' us last week."

    "Then they can wait a little longer." The man summoned up some phlegm from his throat and spat it on the ground. "My advice: go back to whatever country you came from. The sourwoods is no place for anyone." He shuffled across the road and into the trees, a trail of bleating sheep behind him.

    Molly sighed. That was the third shepherd that hour.

    "What do you think they all mean by sourwoods?" Kip asked when the flock had passed and they were moving again.

    Molly did not know, and so she made something up. "You dinna know about the sourwoods?" she said, pretending to be astonished. "Why, it's a whole forest of nothin' but lemon trees and lemon blos- soms and lemon moss and lemon weeds. They say that when summer comes and the fruit is ripe, just breathin' the air will make your whole face pucker." She said things like this to let her brother know she wasn't worried.

    But she was worried.

    She and Kip had been riding almost nonstop for four days through rain and cold, led by a horse that barely tolerated them— due in part to the fact that Molly did not know the creature's name

    (she had told her brother it was Galileo, but the horse seemed to disagree). She had somehow imagined that English roads would be broad and level, but these roads were even worse than those back home. The mud was black and greedy, holding on to whatever touched it—including their back wheel, which had lost three spokes only the day before. What little food there had been in the back of the cart had long since been eaten, and now only a rancid, fishy odor remained.

    "Are you cold?" she said, noticing her brother shiver under his coat.

    He shook his head, which she could now see was damp. "I'm hot."

    Molly's heart fell. Kip had been sick for weeks and showed little sign of getting better. He needed clean clothes. He needed a bed and a bath and a proper meal. He needed a home.

    Kip stifled a cough against his sleeve. "Maybe all these folks is right," he said. "Maybe we should turn back to town . . . or go back home."

    Molly couldn't allow herself to wish for that. She and Kip were an ocean away from the place they called home. She put a hand on his forehead, which was warm. "To hear...

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books rheam - I wanted to read this book because everyone said it was great. I so far think it's OK, but I've only read about two chapters into the book, and the chapters are pretty short. This book is about two siblings who start working at this old mansion. The people who live there don't seem to realize it, but something is going on. When Kip sees a mysterious figure and Molly sees a recent picture of the family that looks much to plump and happy with curly chestnut hair then to be the people here with their skinny selfs and straight black hair, but it must be them, for they said so the selfs. What is going to happen? Can't wait to find out!

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