Winter Bloom

Winter Bloom

There would be tunnels of roses, beds of strawberries, fountains of overflowing herbs. And there might even be love. . . .

In the heart of bustling modern Dublin is a littered, overgrown garden of tangled weeds and a stagnant, hidden pond. Belonging to an iron-willed elderly lady named Mrs. Prendergast, who is rumored to have murdered and buried her husband there, the garden draws Eva Madigan, a young mother struggling to move on from the pain of her past. Eva is joined by Emily, a beautiful but withdrawn college dropout; Uri, an old-world immigrant; Seth, his all-too-handsome son; and occasionally even Mrs. Prendergast herself. But what drives Eva to transform the neglected urban wilderness? What makes the others want to help her? Even as Mrs. Prendergast puts the land up for sale, the thorny lives of all the gardeners are revealed and slowly start to untangle. Overgrown secrets are dug up and shared. Choices are made; a little pruning is in order. Now Eva is about to discover that every garden is a story of growth toward a final harvest. . . .
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439177938 | 
  • October 2010
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Winter Bloom includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Tara Heavey. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


In Irish author Tara Heavey’s first novel to be published in the United States, Eva, a widowed young mother, finds love, friendship, and a sense of family when she starts a community garden in the walled-up plot of a mysterious Dublin mansion. Reluctant at first to open her

home to strangers, lonely old Mrs. Prendergrast eventually warms up to the idea of allowing Eva and a crew of similarly world-weary volunteers to rake, hoe, and sow her decaying garden and help bring it back to life. There’s Uri, an older Jewish man with a complicated past, and his recently divorced son, Seth, as well as Emily, a quiet college-age girl with something to hide. As each gardener tends to his or her plot of land, secrets are slowly revealed and the past is finally brought to bear.


1. Eva serves as the central character around with whom the rest of the characters revolve. What is it about Eva that draws people to her? Why were so many other people willing to put their fait see more

About the Author

Tara Heavey
Photograph by Dylan Vaughan

Tara Heavey

Tara Heavey was born in London, where she was raised until moving to Dublin at the age of 12. A former lawyer, she is currently a full-time author who lives in Dublin with her family.