#BlogTour #BookReview @RedDoorBooks @AndrewCrofts #SOTIG
Welcome to my stop on The Secrets of the Italian Gardener blog tour. Thank you RedDoor for having me!
About the novella:
Mo, the wealthy dictator of a volatile Middle Eastern country, enlists a ghostwriter to tell his story to the world and enshrine him in history as a glorious ruler.
Inside Mo’s besieged palace the ghost forms an unlikely friendship with a wise and seemingly innocent Italian gardener who slowly reveals that the regime isn’t all it appears to be.
As a violent rebellion threatens all their lives the ghost struggles to cope with a personal secret too painful to bear.
Author: Andrew Croft
Paperback: 160 pages
Published by: RedDoor
The Secrets of the Italian Gardener follows a nameless ghostwriter as he is enlisted to write about Mo, a powerful, Middle-Eastern dictator. During his time at the palace he wanders the grounds collecting his thoughts as he struggles to garner information from Mo. Whilst in the beautiful, serene garden he stumbles upon Lou, the Italian Gardener, and as the friendship between them develops we quickly start to see that there is both pain and suffering behind beauty. Even the nicest people can have dark pasts to hide.
The novella is full of power and threat. As the violent uprising on the streets overspills into the palace, Lou continues his work to hide the atrocities that are taking place. Crofts uses the garden to show that we mustn’t always take things as they seem on first glance. He champions the restorative, healing power of nature; over time pain can be built into something beautiful. The darkness feeds the light and without one the other can’t thrive.
Whilst it made me uneasy in places, it also made me question whether I would do the same as the ghost writer – would I stand by and watch the atrocities, keeping silent, all in the name of money? Crofts weaves in a parallel storyline where the ghostwriter and his wife deal with one of the greatest personal tragedies a parent can go through. This personal pain both marries and contrasts with the tragedy that is unfolding on the global stage before him; as the uprising and revolution roars in the Middle East, his own grief becomes prevalent giving him a reason to continue with his work. Can we ever judge the reason and rationale of another person’s moral decision?
I read this in one sitting and for such a short book it packs so much in thanks to Crofts magical storytelling ability. It encompasses everything from what it is to endure grief to understanding, and accepting, your own morality. Political, tense, philosophical and intriguing, The Secrets of the Italian Gardener is a well-developed, thought-provoking read that will make you question good vs. evil.
About the author:
Andrew Crofts is a ghostwriter and author who has published more than eighty books, a dozen of which were Sunday Times number one bestsellers.
He has spent much of his ghostwriting career amongst the dictators, politicians, arms dealers and billionaires who hold the reins of power and control the wealth of the world, stationed in their lavish palaces and heavily guarded compounds in the wildest parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as in tax havens like Monaco, Geneva, Bermuda and the Caribbean.
You can check out the other posts on the blog tour here:
I received an beautiful hardback copy of Secrets of the Italian Gardener from RedDoor Books in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review. Thanks RedDoor!