Can two broken hearts believe in second chances?

The Midnight Garden
Elaine Roth
Lake Union


Hope Gold is left widowed at the tender age of twenty-three when her husband Brandon dies in an accident. Two years later, she drifts back to their rural hometown of Kingsette, Rhode Island, where privacy doesn’t exist. It’s not long before the small town gossip and pity grates on Hope. She reluctantly stays with friends Logan and Tanya, and is a guest at their wedding. There she meets Will Reynard, owner of the Kingsette Inn venue. Will has his own baggage. He returned from a failing Hollywood script writing career to a town which is unwelcoming after he’d written an op-ed about their basketball team’s alleged cheating. Now the inn is failing, and Will can’t figure out what to do.

Hope and Will encounter the mysterious Maeve. Maeve’s alternate lifestyle as a healer, advisor, and communicator with the dead leads to accusations of fakery. Hope wonders about her own mother’s involvement with Maeve, yet Hope and Will are drawn to her, mutually seeking closure, forgiveness and redemption. The town’s hostility to Maeve grows even as Hope and Will find a growing attraction to each other. Hope at last begins to see beauty in the world again. Matters come to a head when Maeve is threatened with displacement, and Hope finds betrayal where she least expected it. Can she and Will find the courage to fight for a better life with each other?

Debut author Elaine Roth creates a hopeful and deeply heartfelt story about a young widow who learns to love and trust again with a man as scarred and hurt as she is. All the characters, especially Hope, are well-drawn. Grief affects everyone in different ways. The importance of taking second chances runs as a thread throughout The Midnight Garden and ties the story together perfectly.