For the month of October I wanted to choose a psychological thriller that took place around an abandoned school, that deals with an unexpected “suicide”, spirits, and a woman named Gloria who brings the past back into her life.
The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson is a riveting novel that will draw you from the very beginning. The story takes place around a school named Eden, that was once known as “An alternative school for happy children”. However, the school had closed its doors due to a suicide that had taken place behind its own walls. Years after it closed it became a care home, with only one neighbor named Gloria Harkness, due to the fact that her son is in the care home and she wishes to be near him.
Everything for Gloria begins to change when an old childhood friend comes back into her life, and tells her that a girl is stalking him, stating that she is from Eden. Gloria begins to unravel the past and uncovers secrets that she had never known about.
With it being October I believe that this book will keep you on the edge of your seat while you are lounging about in your home. So grab a nice hot drink, plop on the couch or bed, and dive into the world of The Child Garden, you won’t regret it.
It is said that on all hallows eve, if you journey to the park that is situated on the outskirts of town you will be able to hear the voices of the little ones that were brutally murdered in 1943. Park your car a block away from the park, then walk towards it with caution. Keep your eyes wide open and your ears perked for you will hear the whispers and giggles of the little girls and boys.
At the stroke of midnight, you sit on the park bench, with your eyes wide open placed on the swings about fifty yards away. At first you may see nothing but once it is 12:01 the shadows appear and begin to dance around the swings. The giggles from all of the children will fill your ears to the brim, while you have a slight smile upon your face. But soon enough that smile will disappear, just as the giggles will submerge into the darkness. For the dark figure from 1943 has suddenly appeared.
The screams of the children fill the midnight air, bringing you to tears. One child notices you, a small little boy with a hat on his head and green eyes, his eyes are filled with dread and fear. He mouths to you in the dark, run. You cannot move, you’re frozen on the park bench. The dark shadow that has been glaring at the children turns its attention to you. Although you cannot see its face, you know it’s a man and he is smiling at you. Slowly he walks towards you, making your whole body quiver, your heart drop and your face turns pale. You wish to move, you wish to run away from the park back to your vehicle, then you realize that your fear is coming alive. The shadow is now towering over you, you take one last look at it before you are taken off.
Next Hallows Eve…
You see a young man sitting on the park bench, it is now 12:01, all of the children have come out to play and hear a low laugh appear to your left. You know what’s about to happen, it has happened many times before, the shadow turns its attention to the man on the park bench and smiles that grimacing smile. You try to yell, try to get the young man’s attention, alas you fail. Your voice has been taken, your mouth shown shut and you are nothing but a wandering soul in the midnight hour. The young man sees the shadow, acknowledges it and suddenly he is joining you by your side.
Since 1943 at 12:01 this takes place, in a small town in the middle of nowhere at the park on the outskirts of town. This shall continue to happen until the end of time.
For thousands of years I have lived here with my husband,
For a thousand more we shall live here still.
He is the ruler of the dead,
And I am the ruler of the flowers in the hills.
Though I have not walked the hills for thousands of years,
I roam these dark garden stonewalls,
waiting and hoping for some sort of light to fall.
Alas, no light shall creep through to this dark world,
No light shall ever make my flowers grow.
Instead of light, magic makes them grow,
They grow to the end of the river of styx,
they grow around each and every river bend.
This garden of mine is divine,
This garden basks in the darkness of the underworld,
and will do so till the end of time.
I sit in the boat with my eyes glued on the river up ahead,
The sounds of the water rushing below us and his humming made everything so eerie.
The paddle raised out of the water,
then slowly went back in,
guiding us up this long river of the dead.
The man behind me stared blankly at the formation of the rocks,
with a stoic look on his face and a voice that hummed a song.
Before I knew it the boat had stopped,
the voice of the man behind growled “This is where you get off.”
One step onto the rocky terrain,
I knew this is where I will stay.
For the man behind these gates,
Is the one who holds my soul in his jars made from clay.