Read Walk to Paradise Garden by John B.Campbell Online


The world goes mad in 1914. And in the chaos, on the blood-soaked fields of the Ypres Salient, young humanitarian John Armitage meets a British nurse, Evelyne Grenville, a lady with admirable courage and a secret. Could they possibly make a difference, offering solace at the Western Front? Will Evelyne's secret life bring calamity on them both? Their ensuing philanthropicThe world goes mad in 1914. And in the chaos, on the blood-soaked fields of the Ypres Salient, young humanitarian John Armitage meets a British nurse, Evelyne Grenville, a lady with admirable courage and a secret. Could they possibly make a difference, offering solace at the Western Front? Will Evelyne's secret life bring calamity on them both? Their ensuing philanthropic life course encounters joy, forgiveness, horrific tragedy and a special-needs boy who shows the way to recovery. It's a ninety-year journey for the Armitages. It's a Walk to Paradise Garden....

Title : Walk to Paradise Garden
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781470140670
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 286 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Walk to Paradise Garden Reviews

  • Katherine
    2018-10-25 20:33

    Here is a book that is absolutely addictive reading and a joy to bring into one's life.The walk to paradise garden is of course the walk of life itself -- of a life, lives, well lived: about the shape of two entire lives from young adulthood onward. From a battlefield in World War I to the board room of a major corporation in Chicago in the 1960s, we follow John and Evie, two intelligent people of no exceptional talent but courage and a capacity for love, not only for each other but for those who take part in their lives or need their help. Sometimes their love is dangerously misplaced, but even then they eventually regain their balance, their moral poise. Before publishers began a contest among themselves to find who could "capture the market" with the most violent and vile books, reading was looked upon as a healthy broadening of the mind, a view into how people coped with the challenges of life without succumbing to bitterness or loathsome appetites. This is a book that gallantly opposes that ugliness and horror with a riveting story of kindness. And it's superbly written. Campbell's extraordinary strength as a writer is in the details, never so much as to weigh the pace, but precisely the amount to create a perfectly vivid, cinematic picture. Do furnish your mind with this fine and thought provoking story.

  • Nicholas Kotar
    2018-11-12 23:41

    I first saw this book when it was featured on Authonomy, Harper Collins' website for writers to submit their work and get feedback, and maybe get lucky and published. I don't remember now how I stumbled on it, but it was lucky I did. Almost everything on that site is pretty terrible, as could be expected. But I started to read Walk to Paradise Garden, and before I knew it, I was five chapters in. It was probably the only book among the many on that site that I actually read from the beginning to the very end. And I loved every minute of it.The language is enchanting, the characters engaging, the settings realistic and interesting. I was especially pleased by the author's evident respect for pre-Revolutionary Russia. Not to give too much away, but there is one Russian character in the novel in particular that reminded me of what I have always imagined my grandmother or great-aunt to be like in their youth - the wistful Russian lady in unwilling exile. Beautiful!Perhaps what I like most about this work is how decent the people are. So much fiction focuses on the absolute dregs of humanity, as if they are somehow more interesting than a good person. Nothing like that here. Here we have true philanthropists, people who are genuinely interested in the plight of their fellow man. Even when inevitable tragedy strikes, they all manage to stay true to their decency, to their essential goodness. I didn't expect it, and it was truly lovely.Oh, and the romance! The love story at the center of this tale is just perfect. Thank you to the author for such a pleasant read.

  • Betty
    2018-11-10 00:52

    A beautiful family saga that stretches from World War I to the late 20th century. The writing is lovely. Mr. Campbell's descriptions draw you directly into the scene. It's a great history of an aristocratic family in a turbulent century.

  • Christine Hayton
    2018-11-05 01:32

    I purchased and read this book. An honest review was requested by The Source, a Goodreads Group, involved in assessing the quality of self-published books. This book listed as historical fiction and began in 1914. It chronicled the life of fictional characters John and Evelyn Armitage. I looked forward to reading this book and unfortunately was very disappointed.The first chapters chronicled the front lines of WWI and I enjoyed those. The research was excellent and the description of the battle was good. Once the main characters left the front lines – the book declined quickly.I read the complete book but several times, I wanted to stop reading. I found the book overly descriptive. The point-by-point narrative of the weather conditions, clothing worn, food and drink consumed made for a long and boring read. The characters came up flat and in many cases, their actions and decisions seemed confused or just nonsense. Although I read the entire book, I never picked up a consistent sense of the lead characters, let alone the secondary characters. The writer noted the characters’ inner thoughts throughout the book, but many of those thoughts, although detailed for the reader, never materialized. There seemed to be a lot of wasted narrative on things that had no bearing on the characters or the plot.* paragraph removed to avoid spoilers *Much of the plot seemed contrived, and the book lacked the climatic conflict needed to hold the reader. Although I don’t think the writer intended to follow the style of literary fiction, the book was left completely flat with little basis as historical. The poor dialogue, the incorporation of a Longfellow poem in the middle of the book, and lack of plot arcs completely killed the pace.I found only a few minor grammatical errors, several word echoes and several misused words. The formatting was a little hard to follow and more spacing would have allowed for an easier read.This was not a book I personally enjoyed, but that doesn’t mean someone else could not enjoy this read. I would probably have been more receptive to it as literary fiction instead of historical.

  • Lauren Gilbert
    2018-11-11 00:27

    This book was a most enjoyable read. John Campbell's novel begins in the WWI era and concludes shortly after 9/11. Mr. Campbell's writing is crisp and his descriptions are quite vivid. Appropriately for the story, he addressed violence and brutality, as well as physical love, without vulgarity or excess, and managed to maintain the reader's interest while doing justice to the characters. Considering the amount of territory he covered, I was surprised at how smoothly the different episodes meshed and how well the story held together. The characters were very well drawn, and engaged me immediately. At several points, I was moved to tears. There were a few sections that the rapid progress in the timeline distracted me a bit, but it was momentary and did not disrupt the integrity of the whole. I recommend this novel!

  • Guy Wade
    2018-11-18 23:36

    Lives worth living, and pages worth turningWalk to Paradise Garden was over much too quickly. John, you could have written twice the book and it would have made the story that much more enjoyable; that's the ONLY reason I could not give it 5 stars. Otherwise, in so many other ways it was a satisfying and complete tale well told. I regret I didn't highlight the many beautiful turns of phrase. Guess I'll just have to go back and reread it.

  • Lora Penza
    2018-10-22 00:24

    Immerse yourself in the lives of the Armitage family. Set against a background of war and despair, John and Evie find true love and a meaningful life. Mr. Campbell excels in his descriptive narrative allowing the reader to truly see life in England and Chicago. But foremost he gives a true look into John and Evie's undying love and their Walk to Paradise Garden. Well done!

  • Neil Randall
    2018-11-09 21:38

    Walk to Paradise Garden is both an accomplished multi-layered saga and an enduring love story. Idealist John Armitage volunteers for the Red Cross during World War One. Appalled by the senseless loss of life, he nevertheless falls in love with Evelyne, a brave, convicted nurse on the frontline. Through many trials and tribulations, Evelyne’s secret, murky past life (which may not be entirely worthy and without reproach), they eventually marry. Due to circumstances, and John’s family wealth, they dedicate their lives to philanthropic work, opening an orphanage for the many displaced and destitute children in London following the war, helping those lost and alone achieve their potential, encouraging a love of the arts, music, writing.The action takes the reader all the way to Madagascar via Paris, London and Chicago. Each location is skilfully rendered and evocative. What is most impressive In Campbell’s writing is his ability to shift the tone of the novel – from the carnage of a battlefield to an Agatha Christie style mystery, to a moving family tragedy, blackmail and intrigue - to a backdrop of a changing world which never learns from its mistakes. This book is for anyone who enjoys thoughtful, well-written historical fiction.Highly recommended.

  • Elizabeth Matson
    2018-10-20 01:31

    A five star read, one I am re-reading simply because I enjoyed it so much. Mr. Campbell has created strong characters, their personalities encourage you to laugh with them, and cry along when something sorrowful happens. (Yes, I found myself dabbing at a tear.) They paint a grand reminder at how one person can affect the lives of so many in the long run. 
As a historian myself, I truly appreciated the amount of research that went into covering such a saga, not only of historical events or places, but of movies, songs, wearing apparel, etc. Such an undertaking is astounding and often the plot either gets lost in details or leaves you searching glancing back a few pages wondering if you missed something. Not in this novel. The mix of how much to include is always a tricky matter, yet Mr. Campbell has created a great recipe. 
I could keep writing, but I don't want to give anything away. Go have a read of this book, you'll be glad you did. I myself am quite sorry to have found myself at the end.Elizabeth Matson =^,,^=

  • Wendy Bertsch
    2018-11-15 23:30

    In Walk to Paradise Garden, John Campbell has sensitively portrayed the long career of the Armitages, a couple brought together in World War One to aid battle-torn soldiers in France. Their devotion to each other and to the children they dedicate their time and wealth to is inspiring.Anyone looking for a moving story of lives spent and fulfilled helping those less fortunate than themselves need look no further. This book is truly a heart-warming lesson in altruism.

  • V.r. Christensen
    2018-11-20 00:52

    Walk to Paradise Garden is a tender story about one man's journey to make the world a better place. From the ravages, political and emotional, of WWI to 9/11, we follow him, through love, sacrifice, loss, success and heartache. This is a beautiful story, beautifully told, and not one I'm likely to forget.

  • Cate English
    2018-10-20 00:38

    A well written and appealing family saga. An enjoyable read.

  • Mary White
    2018-11-07 20:23

    Walk to Paradise Garden is the saga of John David Armitage, the son of a Chicago meat-packer and an English mother. His life spans most of the twentieth century and reaches into the twenty-first and the book follows his travels, his accomplishments, his disappointments. Like all good sagas, the book is many things at once—-historical fiction, romance, drama, travel narrative and even at times, a crime novel.What most impressed me was the author’s ability to immerse the reader in a variety of times and settings. From the Belgian countryside devastated by World War I, to France during the Folies Bergere era, to Chicago’s burgeoning industry and early blues scene, to a busy market in Madagascar—-John Campbell's descriptions of each of these settings are vivid and encompassing. His writing comes alive as he describes the activity in the towns and on the streets, the smells, the food, the clothing and manner of the people in all of these places. Because of its geographical scope, Walk to Paradise Garden makes the reader feel they are witnessing a global history through the eyes of Armitage, a philanthropist intent on making a difference in the world. And the writing itself is beautifully done, measured and rich, just expert. The novel is also a look inside the privileged classes, their habits and rules, and a study of human nature. Campbell relays moments of sincere goodwill, insights into universal longings and fears, and he explores the ability of humans to commit despicable acts. And above all else, Walk to Paradise Garden is the love story of John and Evie, two unforgettable characters, and the family and enterprises they begin and leave to flower.A sweeping saga, and I was sorry to reach the end. A most enjoyable read.Mary Vensel White, author of The Qualities of Wood

  • Geoff Woodland
    2018-11-01 02:42

    John Campbell's historical novel `Walk to Paradise Gardens' is a saga that starts during the early days of WW1, and the reader follows a family through all of their troubles.The story captivated me from the first few pages as I read his descriptions of the medical areas behind the lines in WW1. The author brought the whole horror of this war to life. Later, his descriptions of London in the 1920's & 30's has your mouth watering as he describes the simple act of taking tea and cakes in an `acceptable' (for the wife of a political minister) café. Campbell has the ability to capture the period, regardless of the decade. The historic detail enhances the story without overwhelming the reader with facts. It was no surprise when I heard that this book had been picked as one of the eight Harper Collins editor's choice from the thousands of books listed on the Authonomy web site. A love story to be read and enjoyed at leisure.

  • Melanie
    2018-10-20 22:46

    Walk to Paradise Garden, by John Campbell, was a very enjoyable read, with an attention to historical detail which left me feeling as I do when I walk through a nice antiques shop, full of snapshots of lives which make me curious to know more. The story follows the life of humanitarian John Armitage, from his early twenties as a stretcher-bearer in Belgium during the first world war, to his death. Without spoilers, I can say this is a story which takes you all over the globe. The novel is episodic, almost giving the impression of a collection of short stories, but with continuous threads running through which keep you going from one to the next. The writing style is fairly smooth and old-fashioned, which I like, with a good balance between active scenes and scenes of a more personal nature. Altogether, a book for the head and the heart, with a healthy dose of nostalgia thrown in.

  • Casee Marie
    2018-11-03 20:28

    Amid the chaos and turmoil of Belgium in the throes of the First World War, a young John David Armitage meets British nurse Evelyne Grenville while contributing to the war effort at the disastrous grounds of the Ypres Salient. The war wages terror, and although John and Evelyne cannot evade its effects they know nothing can stop a truly destined connection. John is the son of a Chicagoan father and a British mother, and Evelyne's demure sensitivity obscures a trove of plaguing secrets: thus, the foundation is set for an engaging and truly epic saga as author John B. Campbell's Walk to Paradise Garden unveils the story of two remarkable characters, their lives, and the legacy they leave behind.Read the full review at Literary Inklings

  • K.P. Vorenberg
    2018-10-20 00:40

    A most memorable read --Be prepared to fall in love with this well-told tale. The settings are richly detailed throughout the extensive time period of the story, the characters succeed in making us a part of their triumphs and tragedies, and you will remember them long after the last page of this book has been turned.This is a book to be read more than once and I say that after finishing my second read of it. I can hardly wait for the print edition . . . .

  • Nicole
    2018-11-08 23:47

    Grateful to have come across this gem. I love a character-driven plot that manages to retain all the best elements of literary fiction...A must read for anyone who is looking for a page-turner and enjoys the historical fiction genre.

  • DelSheree
    2018-10-24 20:32

    John Armitage knows he has met the one woman he wants to spend his life with, but telling her how he feels proves harder than he expected. World War and the fact that Evelyne is already married are only two of the problems. It's a rocky start, but this is a love that lasts nearly a century. Walk to Paradise Garden is a beautifully written love story, but not the typical boy meets girl, happily ever after kind of love story. John and Evelyne face uncounted trials during their lives together, from war and personal tragedy to secrets and crisis of heart. The field of characters is deep. You meet many characters that leave an impression and none that seem shallow or pointless. Many of the characters are only in the story for a short while due to the span of time this story covers, but readers will enjoy each one while they are present. John and Evelyne are the overall focus of this story. Their relationship contains a lot of depth. This couple faces many of the challenges every couple faces, but they also face multiple tragedies that are life-altering. I was impressed with the way Campbell was able to balance the day to day trials with the more profound ones. Just when you thought everything was beginning to even out, their whole world was shaken again. My only issue with these two characters was that they occasionally lacked deeply emotional responses. They were of a generation where proper etiquette was valued even during tragedy, but this did make it hard to connect with them at times. Bertie was a favorite of mine. He was quite different from his parents in some ways. The Armitage's were eager to make a difference in the world. While this was very admirable, Bertie was a bit more of an average person. He was building his own life while still being a part of theirs. I never had any trouble connecting with Bertie. His emotions were easy to connect with and I became very invested in his story. There were a few areas that gave me a little trouble, and they mainly had to do with the style this story was written in. Walk to Paradise Garden is written in a memoir-like style. As often happens with this style, this book's format occasionally caused the story flow to be a little disjointed and some rather interesting events were only skimmed over. The murder of John's uncle could have been a whole story by itself, but was instead solved quickly and the characters moved on to continue the main story. I'm not a big memoir reader for these reasons, but those who enjoy the style will have no problems with this at all. Would I recommend this book? Yes. It was very well written, had engaging characters, and was an impressive love story. Who would I recommend this book to? Even though this is not a memoir, it reads like one. This could have been a real family. Memoir readers will love this. Historical fiction readers will also enjoy this book. This is a romance, but not the type serious romance readers will be looking for. This book is a journey. Those looking for an inspiring story will want to pick up a copy.Check out my other reviews at The Edible Bookshelf

  • Belle Blackburn
    2018-11-09 20:29

    Walk to Paradise Garden is a sweeping tale over 85 years, taking place in Europe, the U.S. and Madagascar. It begins with John meeting Evie at the battlefield and then goes along for the story of their many heartbreaks and philanthropy. It is well written without excessive description and moves along well. These are two people who touched many lives and loved well. It also confirms the adage that money does not buy happiness.As for criticism, I thought perhaps a little more insight into why they decided so quickly on adopting Bertie when there were so many other children they were caring for, and I also never found out if the policeman had an ulterior motive for ensuring he was cared for, as that was hinted at. There were also some errors/typos in the latter part of the book but not enough to distract.

  • Katherine Holmes
    2018-10-26 23:52

    The chronicle of a well-off man, this stretches over the 20th century, telling about how the young John Armitage met a nurse married to Russian aristocracy and how they spend the next decades together until they are octogenarians. This includes two wars, and the work of an heir in establishing an English orphanage, later a Chicago-based benevolence for children. This might seem paradise but there is loss, death, intrigue, and betrayal in the lives of John and Evie Armitage. I enjoyed the transpiring of decades in this novel. The historical references held with the details of the scenes. I’m not sure I’ve read such a chronicle before, following a harmonious marriage to the death of one spouse. Campbell’s prose is smooth and it provides images throughout. He also gives strong focus to character and these characters develop.

  • M.A. McRae
    2018-10-20 19:41

    I am pleased that I bought this book as a real book rather than as a mere ebook. It is one to savour - a most rewarding read.The story covers the lives of the Armitage family from the time of the first world war to 2001 - the twin towers tragedy. They are philanthropists, starting with a quite small orphanage, and eventually expanding to schools in third world countries. There are good times and bad, and there are tragedies - everyone has their tragedy, and John And Evelyn Armitage are no exception. Near to the very last page are some words by Evelyn about teaching children to be resiliant. She uses the example of making a garden - that when a storm comes along and destroys it, then one starts again, that in this life, one needs to be resiliant. Wise words from the character Evelyn, and from the author, John Campbell.5 stars for this book.

  • Thea Phipps
    2018-10-23 00:23

    I highly recommend Walk To Paradise Garden.