I am not one to give away too much of the plot in my reviews and this novella is best read with little or no expectations going in.
This is my second novella from Mr. Waggoner, the other being The Last Mile from Darkfuse--which was also very good. A Strange and Savage Garden is set in a "weird town" setting where the protagonist returns to the scene of a traumatic and hazily remembered event from when they were young. Sounds like a pretty well worn path for horror stories. Not so fast. This story starts out feeling familiar but plot twists mount and soon we are in a differnt place.
Although the story delves into folkloric magic and witches I never lost my sense of being grounded--it never crossed into the surreal. For me that was a plus. I also thought that the action sequences were particularly well done. All the dots connected and the story was very well done. The only reason that I took away a star is sort of a backhanded compliment--I think this could have been a very interesting "Harvest Home" style novel.