The Devil’s Garden by W. B. Maxwell
(Length: 12 hours, 9 minutes, 26 seconds)
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Risque for its time, but tame by today’s standards, The Devil’s Garden is a story of passion and mystery. William Dale, the main character of the story is Postmaster of Rodhaven. He is introduced as an honest peasant of uncompromising temper, whose rough nature is ever softened by his pretty wife Mavis. Mavis is an orphan raised by her Aunt Petherick. Known as Will, and referred to as Dale throughout the story, he gets into trouble at the post office but thanks to the intervention of the local magnet of Rodhaven, he is cleared and reinstated. At the height of his joy, his wife meets him in London. Together they dine at a good restaurant and attend a music hall performance. Dale’s evening in London is transformed into a catastrophe when he learns a past secret about Mavis that threatens his marriage. Confronted with this secret, Will and Mavis struggle to make their marriage work and become successful. Ironically, Dale is eventually confronted by the same scenario.
The novel was a top ten Publisher’s Weekly Best Seller in 1914. The book was banned in London. At times, the book seems slow and the listener may wonder what point the author is trying to make. Then suddenly, Maxwell sends you into a frenzy with something unexpected.