Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall

March 6, 2014 Flowers, Memoirs 6

Greetings Glorious Bookworms,

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but it is STILL winter here. The eternal, never done snowing, frozen, messy, gray, icky winter is still holding on. That hasn’t stopped me from pining away for spring time and my garden, though. That’s part of the reason why I was super jazzed when I given the opportunity to read Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart by Carol Wall. *Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

mrowitaMister Owita’s Guide to Gardening is a sweet memoir in which Carol Wall tells the story of her unexpected friendship with the man she hired to tend her garden, Giles Owita.Carol had ZERO interest in gardening (heartbreaking, really), but is embarrassed by her bedraggled yard. When she sees her neighbor has hired landscaping help, she swoops in to see if he would be willing to take on another project.

Giles Owita is a Kenyan immigrant. In addition to his work as a landscaper, he holds jobs at a supermarket and a garden center. Carol, despite her best intentions, makes assumptions about Mr. Owita’s background and is mortified to learn that her assumptions were incorrect. Luckily, her sincere apologies for the occasional faux pas pave the way for them to forge a meaningful relationship.

The friendship between Carol and Giles is heartwarming. Between health problems and family complications, Carol and Giles support and encourage one another. And, of course, there are flowers. Let’s not forget about the flowers, because FLOWERS.

The only complaint I had about this book is that the conversations sounded a little too pretty… Real speech is full of “um’s” and fragments and awkward pauses. The dialogue was written in beautiful well-formed prose, but it didn’t hit me as conversational. Of course, that’s a teeny tiny complaint and it didn’t hinder my overall enjoyment of the book. If you’re withering this winter the way I am, give Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening a try!

And while we’re here and I’m still pining, let’s look at some of my flowers. I miss them so desperately!

my garden

What about you Bookworms? What are you looking forward to come spring? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

6 Responses to “Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall”

  1. Lillian Connelly

    I love the photos of you flowers!

    I think it takes real skill to get conversations right in writing. I always have trouble writing dialogue. I think it’s what keeps me from attempting to write more fiction.

  2. Jennine G.

    We are thinking alike! I have a plant foraging book up for review next week. Everyone’s thinking outside time, let’s get on with the next season already!

  3. Kerri

    It was 10 degrees here this morning with a wind chill of -14. I am looking forward to actually seeing what is under all the snow STILL in my yard. It’s like living in the Arctic. This sounds like an interesting read-great review.

  4. Melinda

    You know when we became facebook friends, the photos of your garden and flowers are the ones that I really liked looking at. So beautiful and yet I don’t like working in a garden.

    It’s finally autumn (fall) here and I honestly cannot wait for winter! We won’t have it so bad this side, but it’s still a season I like, but not more than I like Spring. Lucky you!

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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