Small Eden

Gambles sometimes pay off. And sometimes they cost dearly.

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Pub Date 30 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 11 May 2022

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Description

A boy with his head in the clouds. A man with a head full of dreams.

‘With an eye for precise detail balanced by a sweeping imagination, this beautifully constructed book is built on deep foundations.’ - JJ Marsh, author of the Beatrice Stubbs Series

1884. The symptoms of scarlet fever are easily mistaken for teething, as Robert Cooke and his pregnant wife Freya discover at the cost of their two infant sons. Freya immediately isolates for the safety of their unborn child. Cut off from each other, there is no opportunity for husband and wife to teach each other the language of their loss. By the time they meet again, the subject is taboo. But unspoken grief is a dangerous enemy. It bides its time.

A decade later and now a successful businessman, Robert decides to create a pleasure garden in memory of his sons, in the very same place he found refuge as a boy – a disused chalk quarry in Surrey’s Carshalton. But instead of sharing his vision with his wife, he widens the gulf between them by keeping her in the dark. It is another woman who translates his dreams. An obscure yet talented artist called Florence Hoddy, who lives alone with her unmarried brother, painting only what she sees from her window…

‘Life as it is, not as we want it to be, in all its terrible beauty.’ - Jean Gill, author of Historical Fiction series The Troubadours Quartet


A boy with his head in the clouds. A man with a head full of dreams.

‘With an eye for precise detail balanced by a sweeping imagination, this beautifully constructed book is built on deep...


Advance Praise

‘With an eye for precise detail balanced by a sweeping imagination, this beautifully constructed book is built on deep foundations. Read it at least twice.’ - JJ Marsh, author of the Beatrice Stubbs Series

‘Life as it is, in all its terrible beauty.’ - Jean Gill, author of Historical Fiction series The Troubadours Quartet


‘With an eye for precise detail balanced by a sweeping imagination, this beautifully constructed book is built on deep foundations. Read it at least twice.’ - JJ Marsh, author of the Beatrice Stubbs...


Marketing Plan

24 March 2022 – Cover reveal (The story behind the cover)

24 March 2022 – Exclusive preview chapters

2 April 2022 – Setting Free the Parakeets (why I chose to add to the myths)

3 April 2022 – In England’s Green and Pleasant Land (or why I made my protagonist an opium grower)

5 April 2022 – eBook available for pre-order

From 11 April 2022 – ARCs available from NetGalley

2 - 14 May 2022 - price reduced to £2.49/$2.99

10 May 2022 - BookBub New Releases for Less email blast 

Various dates – 20-stop blog tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours


24 March 2022 – Cover reveal (The story behind the cover)

24 March 2022 – Exclusive preview chapters

2 April 2022 – Setting Free the Parakeets (why I chose to add to the myths)

3 April 2022 – In...


Available Editions

EDITION Ebook
ISBN 9781838034818
PRICE £3.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 7 members


Featured Reviews

This book is worthy of a re-read session. There I said it. A beautifully crafted story of a couple and their loss and how they cope with it in seperate ways and how it affects their lives as it unravels further in the pages of the book. Poignant and deeply in invoking emotions out of readers, this book is absolutely worth it.

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I’m afraid to say I struggled a little with this book. It’s based on grief, how people deal with it in different ways and how they remake their lives. It is beautifully written and hauntingly evocative but I struggled to really engage with the characters meaning for me it lacked emotional impact. That isn’t to say it’s not a great story, it is and as I said very well written the story just didn’t ‘click’ for me.

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The characters were interesting, the storyline was excellent, and the style of writing was perfect. The first book I have read by this author and I will be keeping my eye out for more in the future. If you enjoy reading a great stories then this book is for you.

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This is a beautifully written book with an enchanting storyline and well developed characters. Before I read this book I had never heard of the pleasure gardens but after reading this I will definitely be looking them up more. I wasn't sure whether I would like this book but I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to read it again or read more by the author.

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Creating a pleasure garden in memorial to his sons' passing from scarlet fever, a man finds himself unable to communicate with his wife over this horrible loss. Late 1800s London is beautifully described in this well written novel.

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This was an unusual tale, set in the 1890's about grief and loss, love and living a full life. Poppy and Physic garden grower Robert Cooke and his wife Freya have two baby boys, an older girl and a baby on the way. One night one of the boys develops a rash, Freya wants to call out the doctor but Robert thinks Freya is over reacting and that the baby is just teething. By morning the boys are dead. Robert struggles to deal with the consequence of his "mistake" and often imagines how the boys would look and play as they grow. He notices that a chalk pit where he found solace helping out as a twelve year old boy when his own father died is up for sale and he rashly buys it with a plan to redevelop it as a Pleasure Garden, a "small eden" where the boys in his imagination would love to explore and play. Whilst planning the gardens he enlists the help of a wheelchair bound artist and her architect brother who become almost a second family to his youngest daughter. His older daughter is drawn to the son of the family who caretake and tend the pleasure gardens. Robert's mother is also on a quest, after spending most of her life indoors, sedentary and lonely she heads to Scotland to discover where her own father died on a climb and returns a changed woman. The book follows the families through the course of a decade or so and it was really interesting to see how their lives progressed and the toll Robert's obsession with the Gardens had on his life and those around him.

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