Cover Image: The Midnight Garden

The Midnight Garden

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Member Reviews

The Midnight Garden was a magical story that expertly wove themes of hope, grief, regret and redemption into a warm hug of a love story. Like the tea that character Maeve brews for her friends this story was a comforting gift that charmed and warmed. Wrap yourself up in a cozy blanket and get lost in Elaine Roth's beautiful debut novel.

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This was a beautiful story about love after loss, with some magic woven in. Roth did an amazing job of bringing the characters to life, and I loved getting to know Hope, Will, and Maeve. We get to see both Hope and Will's POVs, but Maeve is an important guide. It isn't all clear sailing, but you can't help but root for Will and Hope. There were moments I just wanted to set them down and clear up misunderstandings, but overall this is a feel-good second chance romance. The perfect read for sweet romance lovers!

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I really wanted to love this book.. It had a lot going for it. Second chances, romance, a mysterious woman who held seances, family. I just didn't love it. It wasn't a long book and it took me a few months to read because I kept putting it down. I think it suffered from everything I dislike about first person narration. I also think I wanted more magical realism, as the title suggests there is.

I liked Will and Hope. I really liked the ending. I am hoping the author continues to grow as a writer because there was something there. It just wasn't love for me.

Thank you, NetGalley, for the chance to read and review this book. All opinions are mine and freely expressed.

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I just reviewed The Midnight Garden by Elaine Roth. Thank you to Netgalley for the complimentary ebook.
A romance novel, written well, just not my thing at the moment. The magic element was over sold in the description I feel. I was expecting a bit more Alice Hoffmanesque and got a bit more Danielle Steele.

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Overall, I enjoyed this and thought it was a solid debut. This book does a good job of tackling the subject of grief, especially since the author herself is a widow. It made it feel very honest and raw.

The two main characters seem to have an immediate connection to each other, but somehow it doesn't feel too insta-lovely, which I appreciated. The third act conflict between them was a little frustating though.

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Goodness I enjoyed this book and I am blown away that this is Elaine Roth debut novel!! I will definitely follow this author and look forward to what she writes next!
This is a story of hope and overcoming. The main character, Hope, is dealing with the loss of her husband and she is so young and their marriage was just getting started.
The story centers around Hope finding her way, second chances and finding joy in every day living. It was a beautiful story that I deeply enjoyed!

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I felt like I was reading the show Virgin River. And not in a bad way. It felt very much like it could be a tv series. I enjoyed it. Some parts more than other., Thank you for an arc.

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This book is mainly about a young widow, two years into widowhood, finally seeming to be ready to move forward. This moving forward, however, is mixed with doubts and guilt I am sure every widow (be being one of them) can relate to. Here are some quotes from the book:

"It's not a betrayal. It's moving forward. No one is telling you that you have to forget him. But you didn't die. You lived, and it's ok to live. You owe it to yourself"

"Maybe the real work is in finding a way to be brave enough to live every bit of the life that's left."

"I asked you how I'd do any of this without her/him and you told me "you just do. You live. One day and then the next""

"Some things can't be fixed. They can only be weathered. Like loss. And grief. And heartbreak."

"I owe myself the chance to do more than survive. To live. To love. To thrive."

I was also able to relate to things people say right after you lose your spouse, such as "You'll find someone new" (that is so not on a widows mind, shortly after the loss), or "I don't know how you do it" (Do I have a choice?). Or people comparing the death with a divorce...

I did like the way the chapters were alternating between the two main characters Hope and Will, just to see the story unfold from different perspectives.

If I had known that the book is a romance and not categorized adult fiction, I probably would not have read it. To me it is geared toward readers under 35. The story has a nice flow, though.
I am giving it 3.5 stars because of me being able to relate to the main character, Hope, and therefore to the author, Elaine. Keep writing.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this free eBook in exchange for an honest review.

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“The universe isn’t safe. Bad things happen to good people. And none of that is a reason to stop living. Maybe the real work is in finding a way to be brave enough to live every bit of the life that’s left.”

After Hope loses her young husband tragically and unexpectedly, she finds herself stuck and unable to move forward. How can she, when she feels her small town only accepts you if you’re part of a “we”? But when Hope meets Will, a guy running from his own demons, she finds an affinity there. With the help of Maeve, a newcomer to town who makes healing teas and is a bit eccentric, Hope starts to see that she is the maker of her own destiny. Can she open her heart and allow herself to love again?

Wait what?! This is a debut?? Oh my. Elaine Roth knocked it out of the park with this one. I am usually stingy with my 5 star reviews but this one just had me feeling all of the feelings and thus, it is worthy. Hope and Will were such great characters going through some really heavy stuff and it all felt so authentic. They stumbled. They fell. They picked themselves up. They made mistakes. But their small town, which at times felt suffocating to them, is also full of warmth and love. The Midnight Garden is a heartwarming and emotional read that I highly recommend and it is available now!

Thank you to @Netgalley, @theelaineroth, @amazonpublishing, and @mbc_books for the #gifted copy.

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So I went into this book thinking it would be a story about grief and forgiveness and love... and it was and I enjoyed it. There is, however, part of it that becomes a little magical realism and I loved that! Maeve was such a fun and interesting character and I would love to see her in another book to hear more of her story. Honestly this book just felt like a warm hug. I loved visiting the small town and I really felt for Hope and Will. I received an advance review copy for free and I'm leaving this review voluntarily.

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Thanks to the debut author Elaine Roth, St. Martin's Press, and NetGalley. I received a copy of this ebook.

This is a book about forgiveness, moving on, overcoming grief, with a touch of magic and romance. It's a moving story with wonderful characters that you are rooting for and relate too.

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The Midnight Garden is set in a small town where everyone knows each other and loves to gossip. The story is full of romance, adventure, and a touch of magic. Hope is a young widow who is dealing with grief after the death of her husband. Will is back in town to help his mother. Both have past regrets they need to learn to overcome. This is a very enjoyable read. Thanks to the author Elaine Roth, St. Martin's Press, and NetGalley. I received a complimentary copy of this ebook. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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A Story of love and loss, hope and guilt, and perhaps a chance to love again, if only Hope can forgive herself.

Years before this story begins, her husband died in a tragic car accident, and Hope is still unwilling to let go of her guilt. It doesn’t help that she feels that others talk behind her back and blame her, whether they do or not.

One night she meets Will, and there is a connection, but one she still struggles with even after all these years. Will has also suffered loss, but finds himself falling for Hope.

There’s also a woman that Hope has come to believe in, a woman who is also connected to her mother, and Hope turns to her for what she trusts is her sage advice.

I loved the lovely description of the garden, one of those stories that is easy to fall into and loved the way this story flowed so effortlessly.

Published: 07 Nov 2023

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Lake Union Publishing

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The midnight garden is such a special story.

Hope is a very young widow who desperately misses the love of her life. Despite her broken heart, she is so tired of the pity everyone feels for her in her small town.

Will, a man who was shamed out of town when he was 18, returns to run a local inn owned by his mom when she decides to take a sabbatical.

Maeve is an eccentric lady who loves in a remote cottage and is thought to be able to communicate with the dead.

Hope and Will seem to be continually pulled together, by random chance encounters, party planning, and Maeve.

This is a book about forgiveness, moving on, glittered with a touch of magic. It's a moving story with wonderful characters.

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The Midnight Garden by Elaine Roth was a very enjoyable book.
I felt it was well paced and a good story overall.
I enjoyed the pace, the story and the characters. The writing was great allowing me as the reader to become quite invested in the story from start to finish.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this ahead of its publication date in return for my honest review.

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This was a sweet, emotional read. I didn't like it nor dislike it. Initially, I felt connected to the characters, but as I read on, I felt the characters didn't seem quite believable and didn't feel real to me. This book was fine, but it's the type of thing that I would probably read once and then pass on to someone else for them to enjoy.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy to review.

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The Midnight Garden is a romance story with a touch of magic and an uplifting message about starting over and following your heart.

Maybe it was the title or the pretty cover, but I was hoping for more of a magical realism story than a romantic one. I didn't quite grasp the attraction between the two characters who both gave off rebound vibes. The relationship between Will and Hope started off like any Hallmark movie where two people who are physically attracted to each other happen to meet by chance and then a budding romance ensues. The touch of magic came by way of a new agey woman living out in the woods who uses her knowledge of plants and spirits to nudge people in the right direction, similar to a Cassie Nightingale type of character that fans of Hallmark's Good Witch series will be familiar with. Grief and courage are themes that are woven throughout the story and I thought the author did a good job at articulating the emotions of the characters. I would love to learn more about Maeve and where her "magic" came from.

The Midnight Garden was an okay read, the plot didn't move me and the magic wasn't whimsical enough. I think every aspect of the story could have been turned up a notch...more drama, more tension between the lovers, and more impactful magic. With that being said, I do look forward to reading more works by the author in the future as I think she has many more magical stories to tell. I'm sure it wasn't easy for the author to write about widowhood and grief, but I was very moved by Hope's journey and strength as it was the first time I met a character who was a young widow. I think the author wanted to share the magic about healing and listening to one's heart instead of writing a magical realism romance, but I think adding more whimsy and enchanting aspects to the story could have driven home the healing message more.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a free arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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This book is a well-written romance novel. It has unique tropes that are executed carefully (small town, magical things, young widow FL), problems that are maturely handled, writing style that is straightforward and cheesy (or swoony, depends on the reader's interpretation) in the right place, mystery that keeps you hooked, slow burn romance that doesn't compromise the fast pacing, and satisfying ending. Hope and Will are definitely flawed, but that makes them relatable, and I really like the way their friendship develops into something more. Romance readers who are looking for something new for their next read must be in for a treat with this one.

It's just that I went in with the expectation as it is labeled (Women's fiction/general fiction) and with that stunning cover and title, I was waiting for an immersive, magical little village setting in a bildungsroman story only to find myself in the middle of modern romance that is less atmospheric and more plot-driven. If only I had prepared myself to read a romance book, I would have enjoyed the first half more. Nevertheless, it's worth to read, and as soon as I switched my mood into 'reading romance', I was able to finish it with a good impression. This will be best for readers who rarely read romance with a sprinkle of magical elements, but not for the ones who expect magical realism.

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What a great book. Seems like it has a little bit of everything in it, including magic.
Usually I’m not one to read books with hints of magic in it but shockingly I enjoyed this one.
I had all the feels for Hope and Will.
I do have to say, I kind of want a Maeve book. She’s pretty mysterious. You really don’t know if she’s good or bad. I think she deserves her own story.

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Mostly this is a story about taking chances that allow forward movement after a horrific loss. For Hope, that means allowing herself some happiness after her husband was killed in a car accident. For Will, it means forgiving himself, his family, and the small town he grew up in. The link between those two people is a newcomer to their community, Maeve. If you've ever lived in a small town, you know exactly how the town's power players react to Maeve. She is exactly the kind of woman they would burn as a witch if that were still allowed. They did the modern equivalent and destroyed her life with slander and innuendo.

The author wrote a sweet, second-chance romance with a commentary on the viciousness of gossip and the very real damage it does. I enjoyed this debut novel by Elaine Roth and hope she'll write another one focused on Maeve. I found her absolutely fascinating.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the digital ARC. All opinions and the review are my own.

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