I could not help feeling that this most awesome, creepy, fairy-tale-feeling story is a reverse of The Giving Tree. Two Irish orphans - Kip, crippled but with Courage, and Molly, accept a position as servants at Windsor Manor in England. The house is most unusual as it is built around an old gnarled tree. Likewise the inhabitants and their circumstances are out of the ordinary. Behind a green door within the house, wishes may be granted through a knot hole of the tree...but at an astonishing cost. The tree's enigmatic caretaker makes nightly excursions, leaving mud and leaves and an untoward feeling in his wake. The wisdom and courage of an ancient storyteller, Hester Kettle; Molly's determination; and the bravery of both Kip and Alastair inspire and succeed at the seemingly impossible. The ending is eminently satisfying.
"The Night Gardener is a spine-chilling fable in the tradition of Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe." I highly recommend the audio version with it delightful Irish accent read by Beverly A. Crick.
"It's a bad tale that tells all the answers."
"A story helps folks face the world when it frightens them. A Lie does the opposite. It helps you hide."
Mark Twain Award Preliminary Nominee 2016-17