Clare Beams "The Garden" Book Celebration

Friday, April 12, 2024
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Mellon Board Room

Book celebration and reading with Clare Beams, author of "The Garden."
Presented by the MFA program. Co-sponsored by the Women's Institute. Books by White Whale Bookstore.
Reception at 6:30PM Reading and celebration at 7PM
The discovery of a secret garden with unknown powers fuels this page-turning and psychologically thrilling tale of women yearning to become mothers and the ways the female body has always been policed and manipulated, from the award-winning author of The Illness Lesson (“A masterpiece” – Elizabeth Gilbert)

In 1948, Irene Willard, who’s had five previous miscarriages in a quest to give her beloved husband the child he desperately desires and is now pregnant again, comes to an isolated house-cum-hospital in the Berkshires, run by a husband-and-wife team of doctors who are pioneering a cure for her condition. Warily, she enlists herself in the efforts of the Doctors Hall to “rectify the maternal environment,” both physical and psychological. In the meantime, she also discovers a long-forgotten walled garden on the spacious grounds, a place imbued with its own powers and pulls. As the doctors’ plans begin to crumble, Irene and her fellow patients make a desperate bid to harness the power of the garden for themselves—and must face the incalculable risks associated with such incalculable rewards.

With shades of Shirley Jackson and Rosemary’s Baby, The Garden delves into the territory of motherhood, childbirth, the mysteries of the female body, and the ways it has always been controlled and corralled.


Fee : Free

Registration has closed. Please contact Women's Institute at for additional information.


Mellon Board Room

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Women's Institute