Written across two books, A Healing of Gardens centres on the life of Jackie who, as a young boy, is cast as an outsider – rejected by his family and entirely friendless, due in no small part to his appearance, which disturbs and discomforts those around him.
In Book One: Into the Darkness, Jackie, part German, part English and part gypsy, is taken in on his fifteenth birthday by his paternal grandmother, herself an exiled high born Romany gypsy. During his time living with her, he is moulded by her in order to continue the running of her various businesses. In doing so, she imbues him with all her vicious, cold, cruel traits, and her hatred of any form of weakness has devastating effects, both on his own sanity and those he meets, especially those who attempt to get close to him.
It is also the story of the gentle and kind folk in Jackie’s life, in particular Suzanne, a beautiful young artist who he meets in later life, who sees in him what he cannot see in himself. Too soon her reaching out to help him becomes a cry to be helped. Driven almost to the point of insanity by their tumultuous relationship, Suzanne faces the loss of love and in blind desperation wanton acts of cruelty are committed. Quickly all that she held to be true and pure, everything she believed in, is sacrificed as Suzanne and Jackie’s lives are changed forever...
Focusing on the theme of love, love for each other and love for their gardens, where, time after time, after being bruised by the lives they lead, they return to heal. The characters’ lives intermingle throughout the strange and disturbing happenings that occur. The second book, Book Two: Into the Light, continues their story.