Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Memory Garden: An award-winning fantasy of loyalty, family, and witches Paperback – May 6, 2014
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"Rickert has created a slew of magical and unforgettable characters that will steal readers' breath away. This is a great story that must be devoured in one sitting." - RT Book Reviews
"Fans of Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen will find a new passion in this atmospheric, eerie, and utterly beautiful debut. Mary Rickert walked me through a witch's garden by moonlight, perfectly invoking a magic place where lies smell like salt, memories taste of ash and honey, and ghosts whisper their last secrets to a girl on the verge of womanhood. THE MEMORY GARDEN is a mother daughter love story, soaked with intrigue and seasoned with both regret and the most lovely kind of breathless hope. Don't miss this one." - Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Someone Else's Love Story
"A potent brew of guilty secrets and tragic histories, but also of enduring friendship and love. Add a pinch of the botanical. Serve on a luminous night faintly reminiscent of A Midsummer Night's Eve. A totally charming, totally engaging story told by Rickert, a magus of the first order. Magic in every line." - Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and The Jane Austen Book Club
"Rickert writes with a blend of poetical language and dark suspense... 'The Memory Garden' is a tale of tragedy, hope and kinship." - The Washington Post
"The Memory Garden is a lovely book of women, friendship, sadness and healing, and it is genuinely uplifting. Like the garden of its title, this is a book to take in slowly, to spend time in, to wander through; you'll likely find yourselves the better for it." - NPR Books
"A wise portrayal of the way women relate to each other, of how communities deal with their outsiders, of how secrets are held among friends, with the strands of narrative united by the garden and its flowers. But it's also a superb fantasy novel. The supernatural elements may be as carefully measured and restrained as in a Graham Joyce novel... but the magic is real." - The Chicago Tribune
"Unwinds the magic and mystery of a mother and daughter and three old friends, all at the fragile juncture of truth and forgiveness. Rickert can build an audience that will marvel at her witchy talents." - Publishers Weekly
"[A] bewitching marvel of a book." - BookPage
"With its fairy-tale qualities, this debut novel is sure to charm ... Readers who enjoy the magical realism of novels by Sarah Addison Allen, Laura Esquivel, and Alice Hoffman will savor Rickert's mesmerizing and magical novel of friendship and family." - Library Journal
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Rickert has a dreaming quality to her characters that makes them as loveable as a befuddled great aunt in the nursing home. Nana is elderly, and her two former best friends finally reuniting with her long after their terrible secret forced them apart, are also a bit vague.
"Are you having goose pimples? Did someone just walk on your grave? Isn't it just the sweetest place? Can't you just picture it with a little garden of daffodils? Deer won't eat daffodils, you know, but they love tulips. And some rocking chairs and wind chimes?"
This quality was atmospheric and homey in her short stories, but in this novel, some times you loose the thread of the conversation. And basically, this novel is one, long conversation about Nana's secrets, who Bay thinks she is, and how the three friends all don't really see each other clearly.
It's a book to sit with and savor, as the characters savor a flower-themed meal in the book (that had my mouth watering) of chicken with rose-petal sauce and curried dahlia lillies, calendula biscuits, and lavendar-goat cheese stuffaed dates.
And tucked within the story are illuminated moments like this one:
"The snow falls, and Nan feels strangely light. She might at any moment rise out of her clogs and fly above her house and garden, like a sparrow.Read more ›
World Fantasy and Crawford award winning short story author M. Rickert’s debut novel, The Memory Garden, is a book that leaves this amateur reviewer keenly aware of his inadequacies when it comes to command of the English language. Words such as “enchanting” and “magical” should be utilized, along with many of their descriptive cousins, yet I fear the easy dismissal that these words might cause those worn out from the overzealous hyping of all things in this commercial age.
Dismissing a debut this lovely would be a shame.
The Memory Garden is a book rooted in seasons, those in the world outside our doors and those that form the cyclical patterns of our lives. It is a love story, though not of standard romantic fare, that celebrates family and friendship and the importance of looking beyond the veil of our own assumptions and prejudices. It is a novel that will stir your hunger for good food, beautiful gardens, and lasting relationships.
I have to thank Mssrs. Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe, along with author Mary Rickert, for their recent podcast discussion [on the Coode Street podcast] of this debut novel. As I walked my dog on a cool Spring night late last week and listened to them talk about The Memory Garden, I got the distinct impression that this was a novel that I needed to read immediately.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is lightheartedness and also darkness in that the secrets revealed are not so lighthearted. It was hard to choose between the two, so I say both. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Nancy Lanoue
A dare you to find a novel published in 2015 with a more fabulous prose and with better characters than Memory Garden. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tudor Ciocarlie
This is a novel that takes a lot of chances, not in obvious ways, but by choosing characters and situations that don't get much play in fiction nowadays. Read morePublished 1 month ago by E. Schaller
This book was awesome. The info about different flowers at the beginning of each chapter was a great touch and made me wonder what was going to happen in that chapter.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Nan has tried to keep the past in the past. But one day she decides its time for her and her old childhood friends to get together. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Megan
This book is killing me. I can, and have, read some pretty bad books before but this one I just cannot get into. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C. Frick
Subtly witchy....very realistically humane and a little spooky, too.Published 8 months ago by Callileah