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 sixteen, 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. The future looms uncertain while the past stays uncannily in pursuit.
This beautiful novel evokes the hardships and the glories of Sydneys 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 amongst the ruins.
"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 of "Love in the Years of Lunacy" "The Floating Garden is above all a surprising love story, full of turns, transformations and slips of the heart. A wise, tender and beautifully detailed novel." -- Gail Jones, author of 'Five Bells' "Emma Ashmere has written a compelling and lyrical novel of a rough and ready Sydney that is in the throes of rapid change; a town where the spiritual is necessary but corrupted, and where sexual lives remain hidden even from those in the grip of desire." -- Sophie Cunningham, author of 'Geography & Bird' Emma Ashmeres subtle, wry storytelling takes the reader inside 1920s Sydney and the story of the people forgotten as one of Australias most historic events unfolds. The Floating Garden is also the story of those women who dared to want something more than society offered them. Sarah Armstrong, author of Salt Rain