Saturday, 11 August 2012

Consider the Lily

Finished August 9
Consider the Lily by Elizabeth Buchan

This novel has been in my reading pile for a while and then migrated to my purse. I finished it while eating lunch. This is a book about people, about gardening, and about the power of money to influence behaviour. It begins in the summer of 1929, with the estate of Hinton Dysart getting increasing rundown due to financial limitations. Kit Dysart is the only son in the family and has been told to marry money to save his family estate. At the wedding of his sister Polly, he meets two cousins, the lovely Daisy Chudleigh, and the orphaned heiress Matty Verrall. Both young women fall for him, but he only has eyes for Daisy until his father calls him home to deal with more financial fallout. Matty seizes the situation and proposes and Kit agrees.
But Matty is always aware of the reasons Kit agreed to marry her, and of the feelings he continues to have for her cousin Daisy. Matty is also now resented by Daisy, who has strong feelings for Kit.
Matty's unhappiness grows as she remains unable to have a child, and after redoing the estate and proving herself to be an able manager of the household, she begins on the garden. As she learns more about the garden's history, she discovers her talents in this area, and learns of the link between the Dysart family history and her own situation.
Interspersed with comments on the garden by the present-day Harry, this story set between the wars, has strong characters and shows the love for gardening the author has. A wonderful read.
My copy also included discussion questions and an author interview, so perfect for a book club.


  1. This sounds sad and wonderful at the same time. Isn't it too bad people need to marry for money.

  2. It is really good. Good writing, and good story with really interesting characters