Review Blog

Jun 28 2013

The watcher in the garden by Joan Phipson

cover image

Text Classics, 2013. ISBN 9781922147011
Recommended. The watcher in the garden (1982) by Joan Phipson has been republished by Text Classics for a new generation of readers to appreciate this timeless tale of adolescent angst played out against the backdrop of its uniquely Australian background.
The cover design and the wonderful introduction by Margo Lanagan set the mood for this remarkable tale. The Australian landscape, its beauty and mystery, is represented by the garden which belongs to the blind Mr Lovett and into which stumble the malevolent Terry and the angry and confused Kitty.
Mr Lovett befriends and becomes to depend on Kitty and her descriptions of the garden. His friendship and respect encourages Kitty to examine her own anger and behaviour. The garden brings her peace and tranquillity after she is welcomed by him.
At the same time Terry bears a grudge against Mr Lovett, and watches him as he plots his revenge for perceived slights against his family. Terry and Kitty tread warily around each other but their lives become entwined by the garden and its almost supernatural presence. Both become aware that the garden has a force which bears its influence on them.
In a powerful scene Kitty and Terry physically confront each other and both are injured. When they come to they realise that they have a psychic connection and can feel what the other is thinking. When Kitty is lost and has to stay in the bush overnight, Terry knows where to find her. Are they in a symbiotic relationship?
This connection leads to the penultimate scene when amidst an earth tremor Kitty struggles up the sides of the gorge in order to save Mr Lovett; Terry is there too and the garden plays its part in the drama as it unfolds.
I recommend this novel.
Michael Jongen BUY IT NOW ON booktopia

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates