the-shadow-in-the-garden I don’t know how I came to possess this book.  I don’t remember selecting it.  Was it free on Amazon?  Did my sweetie send it to me?  We share an Amazon account and are always sending each other books.  I don’t know.  Maybe the ghost in the hoodie who inhabits my house put it on my Kindle.   One of those little mysteries of life.

It is a beautiful little short novella (or is it a long story?) about a young girl, Luna, who gets away from the gathering of adults at her grandfather’s house by going into the deep part of the back garden, where she comes upon one of those stone garden gnomes, which she does not remember seeing before, and then spies a gate through the hedge bearing a sign “To The Other Side”.   As she contemplates it,  her grandfather approaches, and they decide to go through the gate to see what’s what.

What follows is a haunting Alice-In-Wonderland tale of their adventures, filled with wonderful characters and imaginative writing.

At one point, Luna falls into The Deep Depression, a funnel-shaped region, and almost makes it out, but that strange gnome tries to thwart her:

The dreadful gnome sent several waves of low spirits at her, as well as the blues and one confusion funk.  But still Luna climbed.

True to his name, the dreadful gnome upended a full bag of pangs and woes.  They had sharp and painful barbs, which clung to Luna’s clothes and weighed her down so that she could barely inch along.  Then a paid of down-in-the-dumps splashed down, making the way up slippery (and stinky).  But still Luna climbed.  Next came a very loud calamity, three wooden trials, two torn distresses, a sheaf of regrets, anf a trunk-load of misfortunes.  With great effort, the dreadful gnome even pushed several heavy hearts over the edge.

As her nose peeked over the edge, the wrong end of a long-handled ordeal caught her full on the brow.

As I contemplated the rather heavy-handed symbolism and metaphoric situations, duh! it occurred to me that this was meant for older children.  Sometimes I’m not as bright as I look.   So I continued reading, enjoying it immensely.   And we adults are left with the profound idea that

Very often places have paths that need walking.

And so they do.  Lovely book that can charm even an old jaded adult.



One comment on “THE SHADOW IN THE GARDEN by Braden T. McElroy

  1. Jennifer Reynolds says:

    This sounds interesting. I don’t know why, maybe it is because of the new Once Upon an Time in Wonderland television show, but I’ve been adding a great deal of Alice in Wonderland type books to me reading list. This is defiantly one for said list. Actually, since it is free right now, I’m going to go a head and purchase it. 🙂

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