Review: In the Shadow Garden

Title: In the Shadow Garden
Author: Liz Parker
Genre: Fantasy, Contemporary
Publisher: Forever
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 13, 2022
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Three generations of witches must discover where their magic went wrong as secrets resurface that could solve a twenty-year-old mystery in this riveting debut, perfect for fans of Practical Magic and Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe.

There’s something magical about Yarrow, Kentucky. The three empathic witches of the Haywood family are known for their shadow garden—from strawberries that taste like chocolate to cherry tomatoes with hints of basil and oregano. Their magic can cure any heartache, and the fruits of their garden bring a special quality to the local bourbon distillery. On one day every year, a shot of Bonner bourbon will make your worst memory disappear.

But twenty years ago, the town gave up more than one memory for the year; they forgot an entire summer. One person died. One person disappeared. And no one has any idea why.

As secrets from that fateful summer start to come to light, there must be a reckoning between the rival Haywood and Bonner families. But the only clue Irene Haywood has is in her tea leaves: a stranger’s arrival will bring either love or betrayal…


The town of Yarrow, Kentucky is filled with magic. The Haywood family has a shadow garden, where they take the bad feelings from people and feed them to the garden. The fruit from the garden goes to the Bonner bourbon distillery, though the Haywoods and Bonners don’t get along. The Bonner distillery has a festival every year where they invite people to give up one bad memory, so it’s gone from their lives. However, twenty-five years ago, the town gave up the memory of an entire summer. No one can remember anything from that summer, when a lot of life changing things happened. When the patriarch of the Bonner family dies, a stranger returns to town, sending the Haywoods on a path to remember everything. 

This was incredible story of three families in a small town. They had a history of disputes, though the details of them were foggy. The way that everyone forgot an entire summer, when so many important things happened, was disturbing to me. Everything was explained and came together perfectly at the end, and all of the clues were meaningful to the plot. 

This is the kind of book that it’s hard to describe without giving anything away. If you like stories of interwoven generations, you’ll love this. 

Thank you Forever for sending me a copy of this book!

What to read next:

The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

Have you read In the Shadow Garden? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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