The Night Garden by Cathrine Wilhelmsen

The Night Garden

Almost without Julius having noticed, his grandfather had come into the pavilion as well. 
“I thought I should light the fire for you. It’s starting to get cold outside.” Grandfather shivered and tapped his nose lightly with his finger. “It smells like snow. It will be here soon, winter. It’s surprisingly early. But I know its smell.”
“I’m telling Julius stories about Valentina and the night garden,” said Grandmother, and Grandfather nodded.
“It’s an exciting story, I won’t disturb you then,” he said and walked on toward the pavilion’s small fireplace. 
Julius saw how Grandfather quickly piled up wood and bits of paper and set a match to them. Soon, the fire was sparking and crackling.


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Do you know what a night garden is? Julius doesn’t know either.

He has lost his voice and is spending his fall break with his grandparents, while his mother is away on a long work trip, almost all the way across the other side of the world. 
 
Grandmother tells Julius stories about her own mother, the Soviet ballerina Valentina, and her magical but difficult life story. Julius has seen pictures of Valentina many times before in his grandparents’ living room but, to be honest, he thinks they’re creepy. He tends to close his eyes and speed past them when he’s in there. 
 
Later that same night, Julius is visited by someone he would rather not meet. He is whirled into yet another exciting adventure, in which he meets both new and old acquaintances. He will again need courage and good friends in order to find the answers he is seeking. But along with his voice, his faithful companions from the Pearl Whisperer have disappeared… 
 
Will he find them again? And what do his great grandmother and the night garden have to do with Julius? What even is the night garden? And how can it help him stop missing his mother when she is away? There are many questions to answer, and Julius feels small and lone.
 
The Night Garden is a story about missing the people we love, about taking chances and following one’s heart…