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The Watcher in the Garden

The Watcher in the Garden: Text Classics

Text Classics

Joan Phipson

Introduction by Margo Lanagan

‘Tremors Across Still Water’, read Margo Lanagan’s introduction here.

Trespassing in Mr Lovett’s secluded garden was a welcome escape for sixteen-year-old Catherine. A haven away from the parents who didn’t understand her moodiness and from her pretty, even-tempered sister, Diana, whom she resented. It was a place to be alone.

But this all changes when Catherine is confronted by Mr Lovett and, realising he is blind, decides to confide in him. And so begins a remarkable friendship. 

Unexpectedly, a third person appears in the garden: an intruder. Terry—abrasive and sullen, menacing even—has a claim to make on the garden. It is a piece of land he feels should belong to his own family. In his plan neither Mr Lovett nor the garden is safe, and it is up to Catherine to stop him. But in Terry, she recognises something of herself. 

A complex and gripping novel of human relationships from one of Australia’s foremost authors for young adults.



Joan Phipson
About the Author

Joan Phipson was born in Sydney in 1912. She was an only child and spent much of her younger years travelling between Australia, England and India with her parents. She attended Frensham School in Mittagong in New South Wales and returned later to work as a librarian and set up a publishing press, which she had purchased from Leonard Woolf in...

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Text publication date:
22 May 2013
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identity, mystery, environment, friendship
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Praise for Joan Phipson
andThe Watcher in the Garden

The Watcher in The Garden (1982) by Joan Phipson has been republished by Text Classics for a new generation of readers to appreciate this timeless tale of adolescent angst played out against the backdrop of its uniquely Australian background. The cover design and the wonderful introduction by Margo Lanagan set the mood for this remarkable tale.’

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