Sweet Young Delight Review: The Garden of God by Henry De Vere Stacpoole

Posted September 12, 2021 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 20 Comments

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Sweet Young Delight Review: The Garden of God by Henry De Vere Stacpoole
The Garden of God

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Series: The Blue Lagoon #2
Genres: Historical Romance, YA Historical Romance
Published by iOnlineShopping.com
Released on January 3, 2019
Pages: 246
Format: eBook
Source: Free Book
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The Delight

After just finishing The Blue Lagoon for the Classics Readathon, I was chomping at the bit to keep going with the story after that stunner of an ending so I chose the next book in the trilogy for another readathon entry. The Garden of God picked up right where the other left off.

Review

For those who are considering the Blue Lagoon Trilogy, I will have to give spoilers for the first book though, in truth, a reading of the blurb will do that anyway just because of the way the plot happens.

At the start, The Garden of God picked up the story with what became of the other two boats that escaped the ship when Paddy, Em, and Dick’s dinghy got separated. Mr. Lestrange survived his illness and never stopped looking for his son and niece. He did all he could and eventually, years later, had a promising lead.  Sadly, just as he finds the boat with his son and niece, he finds them dead and a small child who is still alive.  From that point, he needs to see the island where they survived and lived so he can know how things went for them over the years.

The story returns to the island, which the sailors call Palm Island though it isn’t on any of the charts.  With a sailor, Kearney and the small child the sailors have dubbed Dick Em because that is all he will say, Lestrange chooses to remain on the island because he is convinced his son and niece will be found there.  Kearney volunteered to stay with the gently mad man and the little boy when the search ship sailed away and promised to return in a year. It never came back. Events take their course and this includes a Kanaka from the closest island being rescued from the sea and marooned.  The girl Kanaka is about the same age as Dick Em and he is fascinated by his first female that he can remember and her odd rituals and ways that are different from what Kearney has taught him. There are further adventures caused by man and nature of a more breathtaking sort than ever came in The Blue Lagoon.

While the story is still that of isolation and survival and does involve a young man who has grown up isolated on the island with the skills and personality to thrive in such conditions, the plot has expanded and the conflict was more fierce to include the nearby island’s culture through the girl who is mysterious even by Kanaka ways who ends up on Palm Island. I liked the Blue Lagoon, but I loved The Garden of God.  Dick is curious, smart, and brave, but also clever with survival living and taking care of himself and is the match for the supposed native girl who has her own curious history that the reader is given in her opening narration, but the girl herself was too young to remember.  She was trained by the tribal witch doctor and has her own notions about Kearney and Dick Em that aren’t safe for them though they hardly realize it.  But, as time passes, both young people have adventures together involving the elements, nature, a warring tribe, and visiting ships and they start to see each other differently and feel things that confuse them like understanding and attraction.

Like I said, I loved this one more than the first.  It was written many years after and I could see the author’s writing had matured, but also he chose to infuse more action moments and suspense to balance out the ethereal ‘what if’ ponderings that filled the first book.  And, while the first book left the reader hanging a bit at the end, this one closed out the storyline neatly so the reader could stop here or choose to go on with the last of the trilogy.

It was a wonderful classic island survival adventure, two protagonists that were brought up isolated and innocent about the outside world and people, and their ongoing learning about that outside world, themselves, and each other.  Again, it is appropriate for Young Adult Classic or Adults the way it is written.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Mary Kirkland
2 months ago

I didn’t know about this one but glad that you enjoyed it.

Sophia Rose
2 months ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

It was fun to find it and get to follow up on the Blue Lagoon story.

Jen
Jen
2 months ago

Wait… He went to and stayed on the island hoping to find the young couple, but didn’t he find them dead in the boat? Anyhow, I’m glad you really enjoyed this second story! Lovely review.

Sophia Rose
2 months ago
Reply to  Jen

He was a little mad from surviving the shipwreck and losing the children so the new crew that helped him look for them as survivors were kind to him.
Yes, it was a great follow up to the first book and even a better story. 🙂

Lover of Romance
2 months ago

Its always so great to see it when an author’s writing has matured over the years and seeing that growth is always a plus in being a reader.

Great review.

Sophia Rose
2 months ago

I love seeing that progress of a writer’s skill, too. This book really showed what a few years could bring. 🙂

Carole Rae
2 months ago

even with the book 2 “spoilers” I am still intrigued.

Sophia Rose
2 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Oh cool! Glad to put you onto it, Carole!

Melliane
2 months ago

Hmm I don’t think I know about this one but it looks good!

Sophia Rose
2 months ago
Reply to  Melliane

Yes, it was fun to discover it for my classics challenge.

Felicity Grace Terry
2 months ago

Ooh! I had no idea The Blue Lagoon was part of a trilogy but then it was many, many moons ago that I last read it so maybe I did know and had just forgotten. Anyway, The Garden of God is definitely one for my Wish List along with The Blue Lagoon {and possibly … oh who am I kidding … definitely the third book} as I’m sure there will be lots that has escaped my memory.

Sophia Rose
2 months ago

Ha, yes, it was a big surprise for me, too, and I’m glad to see them show up on a library list to catch my eye. I know the first two work great as a duology, but I need to check out that third story too.

Rachel
2 months ago

I think I watched The Blue Lagoon years ago and remember a sad ending and that they had a child. Didn’t know there was more to the story! Will have to check it out.

Sophia Rose
2 months ago
Reply to  Rachel

They made a cheesy movie sequel to it, but I’m glad I read the original book version because this was pretty good and wrapped up the loose ends well.

Debbie Haupt
2 months ago

Wow how did I miss this is a trilogy. Oh I’m definitely going for it now Thanks Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose
2 months ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Yes, it flew below my radar, too. Glad it was on the library classics list for me to catch it.

RO
RO
1 month ago

This sounds really interesting, and I love the title of this book in the trilogy. Glad you enjoyed it! Happy Friyay! RO

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  RO

Yes, it was so neat finding the sequel and it being so good. I thought the title was a great match for the story.

Have a wonderful weekend, Radiant Ro!

Iza
Iza
1 month ago

You’re making me want to read this 😀

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Iza

Heehee, glad to tempt you, Iza!