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The Garden

A novel by

It's 1948, and Irene Willard has had five miscarriages. She's desperate to give her beloved husband the child he desperately desires and, now pregnant for the sixth time, checks in to an isolated house-cum-hospital run by a husband-and-wife team of doctors who are pioneering a cure, they say, to 'rectify the maternal environment'.

There, she befriends Margaret and Pearl, women who are also yearning for motherhood, and together, they undertake the doctors' examinations, both physical and psychological. In the meantime, she discovers a long-forgotten walled garden on the spacious grounds, a place imbued with its own impenetrable powers and pulls. As the doctors' plans begin to crumble, Irene and her fellow patients make a desperate bid to harness the power of the garden for themselves - and must face the incalculable risks associated with such incalculable rewards.

Haunting, uncanny and unforgettable,
The Garden exhumes private griefs and mysteries in a stunning gothic that explores the ways that women's bodies are policed and manipulated.

Genre: Horror

Praise for this book

"No one writes feminist historical fiction like Clare Beams. With her singular lyricism, elegance, and candor, The Garden powerfully illuminates what is, for many women, a private and isolating grief. Ingeniously using elements of the gothic and weaving in today's most pressing questions about female bodily autonomy, Beams captures the magic, strangeness, terror, and all-consuming pressure of pregnancy, as well as the desperate desire for certainty and the abiding hope. I'm in awe of this book." - Jessamine Chan

"THE GARDEN is a shimmering, sinister jewel of a novel, with an aching, Shirley Jackson like heart. Highly recommended!" - Dan Chaon

"The Garden renders beautifully the uncanny, haunted space that pregnancy both occupies and creates. Beams's glancing, needle-prick prose reminds me of Shirley Jackson's work in its ability to conjure up women--their histories, their fears, the complexity of their desires, and their power. I loved this novel." - Kelly Link

"The Garden is a novel to devour whole. It is a page-turner, a puzzle, an assembly of piercing insights into womanhood, ambition, and autonomy, in language as bewitching as it is exact." - Megha Majumdar

"Clare Beams is a master of fiction - Born in the literary legacy of Angela Carter and Stephen King, THE GARDEN is, like every child, utterly itself in the end - miraculous and beautiful and strange." - Julia Phillips

"Deliciously eerie and brilliantly written, Beams explores motherhood and gestation in a way that feels new and trailblazing, but that will also ring true to the lived experience of every woman who has ever been pregnant. A shimmering, strange, important novel - I couldn't put it down." - Rufi Thorpe

"THE GARDEN's gender politics, barbed wit, moral complexity, and genuine sense of unease recalls the best of Shirley Jackson's work - This swirling marvel of a novel cements Clare Beams as a read-everything-she-ever-writes writer." - Paul Tremblay

"Clare Beams casts an intoxicating spell with The Garden, a gothic tale about nature's dark whims and the unknowable chaos of matrescence. Prepare to be haunted." - Rachel Yoder

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