Synopses & Reviews
Sydney, Milsons Point, 1926. Entire streets are being demolished for the building of the Harbour Bridge. Ellis Gilbey, landlady by day, gardening writer by night, is set to lose everything. Only the faith in the book she’s writing, and hopes for a garden of her own, stave off despair. As the tight-knit community splinters and her familiar world crumbles, Ellis relives her escape to the city at 16, landing in the unlikely care of self-styled theosophist Minerva Stranks. When artist Rennie Howarth knocks on her door seeking refuge from a stifling upper-class life and an abusive husband, Ellis glimpses a chance to fulfil her dreams. This beautiful novel evokes the hardships and the glories of Sydney’s past and tells the little-known story of those made homeless to make way for the famous bridge. Peopled by bohemians and charlatans, earthy folk and fly-by-nighters, The Floating Garden is about shedding secrets, seizing second chances, and finding love among the ruins.
“A wise, tender and beautifully detailed novel.” —Gail Jones, author, Five Bells
“A compelling and lyrical novel of a rough-and-ready Sydney that is in the throes of rapid change.” —Sophie Cunningham, author, Geography
“A charming and lyrical story of masculine ambition outwitted by feminine fruition. 1920s Sydney, in all her raffish grandeur, flourishes on every page.” —Mandy Sayer, author, Love in the Years of Lunacy
About the Author
Emma Ashmere is a writer whose short stories have appeared in various publications, including the Age, Griffith Review, Sleepers Almanac, Etchings, and Australian Women’s Book Review. She has a master’s in creative writing from the University of Adelaide and a PhD from La Trobe University in Melbourne on the use of marginalized histories in fiction.