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The White Garden by Stephanie Barron
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The White Garden

by Stephanie Barron

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The White Garden by Stephanie Barron; (4*)

The White Garden is an alternate telling of the last day in the life of Virginia Woolf. It begins with the writing her of her last note to Leonard Woolf and her leaving the house and walking to the river, planning to commit suicide by drowning herself. As she walks she hears a lone bird whose song sounds to her as if it is singing "Life! Life! Life!". "In Latin, the word would be vita." And so ..... she turns, going to the village station and on to Sissinghurst and her dear friend, Vita.
In the book 'the white garden', which one day is created at Sissinghurst, comes about as a creation of the mind of Virginia Woolf. Also I would be remiss if I did not share that the intrigue imposed with the pages of the story have stuck in my mind even days after completing this read. In my mind's eye I can see 'the Apostles', Leonard Woolf and Harold Nicholson plotting and planning the demise of the already thought dead Virginia.
This biographical novel sucked me in right at the beginning. Mind you, this is not great literature but is instead an interesting piece of fluff mystery with bits about these great legends of literature. I found the 'journal' to be interesting along with the portions of the story relating to the gardens & gardening. ( )
  rainpebble | Sep 29, 2017 |
I enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. I was attracted to it because of the gardening connection and ended up learning a great deal about the White Garden of Vita Sackville West. Not being a Virginia Woolf fan, I wasn't expecting to be that interested in the mystery surrounding her suicide, but that part was well done, I thought. ( )
  terran | Aug 17, 2015 |
I'll wait for the book club read to finish before I do this. ( )
  E.J | Apr 3, 2013 |
cozy, boring - but loved the historical part about the gardens. ( )
  fordbarbara | Sep 13, 2011 |
I really liked the notebook sections, and ended up skimming through most of the modern-day chapters. Would have loved to have read a whole book focused on the author's version of the last days of Virginia Woolf.
  eloupas | Feb 28, 2011 |
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In March 1941, Virginia Woolf filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in England's River Ouse. Her body was found three weeks later. What seemed like a tragic ending at the time was, in fact, just the beginning of a mystery...

Six decades after Virginia Woolf's death, landscape designer Jo Bellamy has come to Sissinghurst Castle for two reasons: to study the celebrated White Garden created by Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West and to recover from the terrible wound of her grandfather's unexplained suicide. In the shadow of one of England's most famous castles, Jo makes a shocking find: Woolf's last diary, it's first entry dated the day after she allegedly killed herself.

If authenticated, Jo's discovery could shatter everything historians believe about Woolf's final hours. But when the Woolf diary is suddenly stolen, Jo's quest to uncover the truth will lead her on a perilous journey into the tumultuous inner life of a literary icon whose connection to the White Garden ultimately proved devastating.

Rich with historical detail, The White Garden is an enthralling novel of literary suspense that explores the many ways the past haunts the present — and the dark secrets that lurk beneath the surface of the most carefully tended garden.
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Six decades after Virginia Woolf's death, landscape designer Jo Bellamy has come to Sissinghurst Castle for two reasons: to study the celebrated White Garden created by Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West and to recover from the terrible wound of her grandfather's unexplained suicide. In the shadow of one of England's most famous castles, Jo makes a shocking find that will lead her on a perilous journey into the tumultuous inner life of a literary icon.… (more)

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