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review 2017-04-18 22:43
The Forbidden Garden by Ellen Herrick
The Forbidden Garden: A Novel - Ellen Herrick

First off, let me say that The Forbidden Garden is both an absolutely enchanting and effortless read. It's the type of story that a reader can easily sink into, and wile away the hours with. To me, it would be the perfect outdoor read. Something to spend those beach days, hammock days, or even camping days with. Ellen Herrick has made something beautiful here, and it's honestly rather intoxicating.

As a reader, I tend to gravitate towards character who feel genuine. If the people I'm reading about attract me, I want to keep reading. Herrick has accomplished that handily. Sorrel and her sisters, despite the fact that I hadn't yet read the book they are featured in, stole my heart. Their love was evident, as was the heartache that Sorrel still harbored. When Sorrel, and I at the same time, met the Kirkwoods I was head over heels in love. This family, despite their secrets kept, were just delightful. The romance that bloomed between Andrew and Sorrel especially stole my heart. It felt genuine, sweet, and honest, which is hard to do.

The story itself, that is the plot portion of it, started out really strong in my opinion. The rambling estate of Kirkwood Manor was just as charming as the people in it, and as the history began to unfold I was intrigued. However, as the book neared the mid-point, I felt like everything was being rushed to the conclusion. I would have loved to see more about the research that Stella was performing into the past, and possibly more about the whole mystery itself. The ending just felt anti-climactic, after all the tension leading up to it.

For a beautifully written setting, wonderful characters, and a rather interesting plot, I'll happily offer this book three stars. As I mentioned, it was an effortless and honestly enjoyable read. If you're looking for something light and airy, with characters who will make you fall in love, this is your next read.

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review 2016-04-28 14:52
My Review of The Sparrow Sisters: A Novel
The Sparrow Sisters: A Novel - Ellen Herrick

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I LOVED this story! This is one of the best books that I have read in a while. I have not read a story that elicited so many emotions in a very long time. The characters captured my heart, as well as the story. The characters were so real to life, and their dialogue was so believable that I could just picture these characters so easily. I am eagerly awaiting the next Sparrow Sisters novel. There were a few grammatical errors, but in no way did they hinder the flow of this story. If it weren't for these errors, this would have easily been a five star review. I highly recommend this book.

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review 2015-10-15 13:58
from FictionZeal.com re: The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick
The Sparrow Sisters: A Novel - Ellen Herrick

What you don’t know about another person is often more important than what you do know.  The new doctor, Henry Carlyle, had secrets.  In a small town like Granite Point, the community started gathering stories, some true some not.  The Sparrow sisters, even though they’ve lived there all their lives, heralded a bit of mystery as well.  Most wondered why none of them had ever married.  They’d had some tragedy in their lives.  Their mother died when young Impatience (Patience) was born.  Their father took to himself, leaving the twin older girls to raise the two younger ones.  Then one of the twins had been diagnosed with cancer and could not be saved.  They had little tolerance for doctors.  But, Patience found something very intriguing about this new doctor.  He felt the attraction too, but he didn’t move to Granite Point to get involved with anyone, much less a romance.

Patience found that she could make many remedies from their lush garden.  Many of the townspeople looked to her for healing.  Even Henry became very interested in what she actually does.  It all seemed fairly benign.  That is until the day that an autistic child dies after having received one of her remedies.  How quickly people can turn.

Uniquely crafted, these characters will pull your heartstrings.  This is a very cozy and comfortable ‘stay-in-your-pjs’ day read.  It’s hard to believe this is Ellen Herrick’s debut novel.  She certainly has a magic of her own in writing very descriptive and beautiful scenes.  The novel is well balanced with character detail, dialogue, and narrative.  The ending just may suggest a series, and if so, I would like to visit the Sparrow sisters once again.  Rating: 4 out of 5.

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review 2015-09-22 00:00
The Sparrow Sisters: A Novel
The Sparrow Sisters: A Novel - Ellen Herrick This review was originally posted on Bookish Things & More


I really, really, really enjoyed this book. I loved the whimsical writing, and the way you get lost in the town of Granite Point.  I also loved the magical element, even though the book focuses on the characters.

The Sparrow Sisters are so close, and I love that they have such a strong sibling relationship.  Even when they are irritated with each other, they stand beside each other through everything.  Nettie is quiet and definitely not flashy.  She stays in the background and offers up her support and ideas when they are needed.  Sorrel is a bit surly at times, but she's the mother figure.  She gets things done, and makes sure her sisters are doing okay.  And Patience is, well there isn't just one word to describe Patience. She doesn't get involved with the town gossip, but she's magnificent.  She has the ability to tell when people need something in their lives, and helps with her remedies to make them better.

The other characters are very well written, and each has some sort of connection to the Sparrow family.  Henry isn't exactly fond of Patience helping the town with her remedies.  As a doctor he believes the citizens should go to him.  He struggles with trying to understand what she's capable of as he wants to get closer to her.  They are both more alike than either wants to voice.  Ben has longed for a certain sister for as long as he can remember, but has always been scared to make the first move. He does show his unending support when one of them falls under the scrutiny of the town.  And Simon, well he had feelings for one of them when they were younger, and still holds love for her now.

I think this book showed how an entire town can go into chaos when something bad happens. They want to place blame, and sometimes the easiest to blame are those that, even though they have helped them, are a bit odd.  I love how the women of Granite Point band together to help the Sparrow Sisters, and the support of those close to them.  I got lost in this small town, and the images were unfolded as I turned the pages.

This is definitely a must read, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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