The Sea Garden is the first book by Marcia Willett that I have read and I loved it.
The two main characters are Kate and Jess. Kate is the widow of artist David and Jess wins his prestigious award for her botanical painting. When Kate invites Jess to stay in Devon and see some of the places where David lived and worked she jumps at the chance. However, Jess doesn't realise that her own family is interwoven in local society and soon secrets hidden in the past threaten to burst forward and effect the lives of Jess and people around her.
Despite being very different, Jess and Kate are strong characters battling with family issues. For Kate, it is that her son and daughter-in-law are suffering marital problems, whilst Jess feels isolated now that her mother has moved to Belgium to start a new life. Willett has skillfully given each character an equal amount of space in the book and this really helps the reader to feel that they can get to know each one. There were also a number of sub-plots in the storyline, which fitted in with the plot really well and did not feel at all overwhelming.
This is a mesmerising, thought provoking novel, full of mystery and intrigue. The pace is quite gentle, but Willett packs in a number of twists in the plot that I hadn't been expecting. Overall, this is a really great read and I will now be on the look out for more from his author.
Thank you to Transworld for sending me a copy to review.