Someone has been digging up the private garden in the Square. Miss Angela Chesney of the Garden Committee is sure that a gang of local boys is to blame, but her sister, Olivia, isn't so sure. She wonders why the neighbourhood children - 'sparrows', she calls them - have to be locked out: don't they have a right to enjoy the garden too?
Nobody has any idea what sends Lovejoy Mason and her few friends in search of 'good garden earth'. Still less do they imagine where their investigation will lead them - to a struggling restaurant, a bombed-out church, and, at the heart of it all, a hidden garden.
Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993.