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The Mermaid Garden: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 3, 2011

46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Santa Montefiore is a superb storyteller….Her plots are sensual, sensitive and complex: her characters are unforgettable life forces: her love stories are desperate yet uplifting . One laughs as much as one cries.” --Plum Sykes, author of The Debutante Divorcee

“Epic in scope and emotion, but also brilliantly observant and truthful…surprising, moving, and skillful.” --Elizabeth Buchan, author of Separate Beds

“Montefiore is a grand storyteller. Her near-lyrical descriptive prose is appealing on its own; the plot is involving on multiple levels, crossing several genres; and her characters step well beyond formula. All in all, a fine way for American readers to get to know the Montefiore name, which will very soon be cropping up in the same sentences as the name Maeve Binchy.” --Booklist, starred review”

"The Mermaid Garden has it all: secrets, mystery, passionate love affairs fueled by drama and determined by fate, and the grace notes of fairytales- evil stepmothers, cranky stepdaughters, and redemption in the wake of understanding in the hands of the great painter Rafa Santoro. Santa Montefiore is a wonder, you will not be able to put this novel down. Unforgettable!" --Adriana Trigiani, author of Brava, Valentine

“Like her countrywomen Barbara Taylor Bradford and Penny Vincenzi, Montefiore excels at juxtaposing the opulent with the ordinary in delicately woven tales that seamlessly traverse borders and span decades.” --Booklist

“An absorbing plot.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Two stories, two generations, and two beautiful European locales are neatly gift-wrapped into one sumptuous tale of love, loss, and redemption. . . . Luxurious and romantic depictions of scenic Tuscany and the beautiful English coast.” -- Publishers Weekly

“Montefiore has written another lovely fairy tale for grown-ups. . . . Fans of women’s fiction will be moved by the characters and eager to find out what happens to them. Lush descriptions of gardens in Tuscany and Devon add to the novel’s charm.” --Library Journal

About the Author

Santa Montefiore is the internationally bestselling author of several novels, including The French Gardener and The Last Voyage of the Valentina. She lives in London with her husband, historian Simon Sebag-Montefiore, and their two children. Visit her website at

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451624301
  • ASIN: B005X4BXGI
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,130,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Santa Montefiore was born in England. She went to Sherborne School for Girls in Dorset and read Spanish and Italian at Exeter University. She has written fourteen bestselling novels which are translated into thirty different languages and have sold well over than 2 million copies worldwide. She lives with her husband, the historian and broadcaster Simon Sebag-Montefiore, and their two children in London.
For more information please visit her website at
Instagram: santamontefioreauthor
Facebook: Santa Sebag-Montefiore and Santa Montefiore Books

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pennfield on February 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I saw The Mermaid Garden in the public library and was intrigued with the title. I sat down to read a bit to see if it was worth borrowing. I had read two chapters when my friend brought me back to reality reminding me we had to leave.

I have read thousands of books. Rarely have I wanted to enter the world the author created as I have in this one. The settings, characters, plot and action all are flawless. The characters are very real; you will think you know them. Another great feature of this novel is that it has two plots running simultaneously which the author neatly ties up.

Do you know how when you are reading a truly great novel you never want it to end? That is The Mermaid Garden.

Do yourself a favor and read this wonderful, unforgettable book
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By AnneB on May 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book a lot from start to finish. It is actually two different stories in one book. The first story is of the blossoming of young love between Floriana, a poor village girl abandoned by her mother, and Dante, the son of one of the richest men in Italy. They meet when Dante finds Floriana spying on his family home, Villa La Magdalena. Floriana loves the Villa and dreams of living there and spending her time in the Mermaid Garden with her beloved Dante.

The second story is set decades later on England's Devon coast. Marina and her husband Grey own a hotel and are struggling to keep it afloat. Marina hires an artist, Rafa, to teach painting in the hotel during the summer to bring in business. Rafa, a good-looking Argentine, makes quite an impression on the town and on Marina and her family

The Mermaid Garden is so beautifully written with details of both the Italian countryside and the English coast, it was a joy to read. Both stories were interesting and how they weave together at the end was really well done. The thing I liked the most about this book was how well so many of the characters were described. I felt I knew them so well and really cared what happened to them.

There was a lot of talk about love in this book. People in love, people looking for love, and others heartbroken from it. There is an especially sweet side story of two people finding love very late in life. This books makes you believe in the power of love and reminds you what is important in life. For anyone who likes to read a good romance story, this is the book for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lachula on December 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My first book by this author, and I loved the story. Spanning four decades from the Italian countryside to the English coast. The earlier part which weaves back and forth through out the novel is about a young village girl, Floriana who falls in love with Dante, the son of one of the richest men in Italy. The second story takes place decades later on England's Devon coast where Marina and her husband Grey own a hotel, which has fallen on hard times. Both of these stories have an interesting story line and characters, and at the end of the book we see how they come together. Wonderful writing, I will definitely read more by this author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Z. Chadwick on June 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Santa Montefiore is my very favorite author. She writes from the heart. She develops her characters so beautifully you get to know them you feel their joy, you feel their pain; you wish they were your friends in real life. Ms. Montefiore's elegant touch in explaining the food, the landscape is makes me want to be in the book at that moment....I feel I am there.
The only problem is there is not another new book for me to read right now as I own all her other books.......a gem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly C on March 27, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Two story lines weave effortlessly back and forth in this romantic novel about England, Italy and young love.

In Italy, local girl Floriana falls in love with handsome Dante. As the years go by and their relationship grows, so does the the gap between their classes. Dante's family is rich, and expected to marry well while Floriana is on her own, with a drunk selfish father. Their journey to sustain true love with test them.
In England, Mariana and her husband Grey are struggling to make ends meet. Their hotel is on the verge of collapse, but a handsome artist shows up at their door. But who is he really? The burglar that's going around town? Or someone else?

The two stories do not connect until the very end and it was maddening to go back and forth between the two story lines. Many times the chapter would end and I would sigh wishing I was still in that scene a little longer. That is good writing.

Marina is a sympathetic character, positive, tough and always looking ahead for the best. She is a well rounded character- I could see her pacing back and forth along the sand. She is someone to root for. Her husband Grey is a solid and understanding partner, but I felt like he was a little under developed. When all is revealed at the end, I felt like I should have a better sense of Grey and his love for Marina. His daughter from a previous marriage, Clementine is the only character I greatly disliked in the book. Even at the end after having gone through her long journey, I still felt unsatisfied. She has such great loathing of her stepmother Marina at the beginning of the novel. As the story moves on, her feelings begin to shift. But to me, this change seemed superficial and Clementine was too much of a supreme brat for me to enjoy her ending.
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