I’ve just galloped through ‘The Gardener’s Daughter’ by K. A. Hitchens. It is a fast-paced thriller, with an intricate plot and subplots, high-quality writing and a neatly satisfying ending. The characters Zavier and Boody are particularly delightful. There is a chilling depiction of the Holiday Camp ‘from hell’ which made me shudder. It opens one’s eyes to the dangers and horrors of working in the underpaid service industry in this country, and what can happen to cash-paid, illegal immigrants, no matter how hard they work.
Read it if you enjoy Frank Peretti but aren’t too keen on the American right-wing evangelical Christian viewpoint. Read if if you enjoy the ‘Poppy Denby Investigates’ series by Fiona Veitch Smith. Read it if you want an exciting adventure and detective story with a Christian worldview that isn’t preachy or obvious.
The core of the story is a retelling of the ‘Prodigal Son’ and Ava initially comes across as a bit of a brat. I disliked the way she stole the money and walked out in a teenage strop, and didn’t do the obvious, grown-up thing – going back, saying sorry. And her selfish, self-centered actions had a huge cost to her family and friends – destroying part of their life’s work, almost burning to death her father’s most trusted associate . But that is the point of the story. And by the end, she has changed. I had to forgive her, of course!