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Review: Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening

March 4, 2014

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening

When Carol Wall and her husband were raising their children they didn’t worry too much about their yard.  But one day Carol came to realize their yard had become an eyesore so she hired Giles Owita, a man who did gardening for their neighbors.  Mister Owita was a hard worker who had a smile and a kind word for everyone he met.  He was wise and dignified and transformed Carol’s life in ways she never could have imagined.

Oh, how I loved Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart by Carol Wall!  Beautifully written, this memoir is full of heart and it really spoke to me.  Wall is open and honest about her struggles and shortcomings and she was moved by the gentle man she hired to work in her yard.  Her passion is evident and I marked many passages as I read the book.  This one, written about Wall’s father, reminded me of how I felt about my own father:

I would have sold my soul to stay in favor with this wise and loving man and to keep him looking happy.  It was a feeling that had never faded with time, and one that had kept me upright and respectable all through the years.

I found Wall’s story very compelling and savored every word as I read it –  I often sat and reflected about what I had just read.  Giles Owita didn’t have any easy life but he always conducted himself with dignity and grace and managed to find time to help others.  He was an ordinary man with a quiet life and his friendship forever changed Wall.  I don’t want to say much more than that because I think readers need to experience this story for themselves.   I highly recommend Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening, especially to those who love memoirs – be sure to have tissues handy when you read it.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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22 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2014 7:13 am

    You’ve sold me… I’m adding this to my wish list! Beautiful cover, too.

  2. March 4, 2014 8:25 am

    Sounds like a wonderful story. Thanks for your review.

  3. Beth Hoffman permalink
    March 4, 2014 9:19 am

    I rarely read memoirs, but you have totally hooked me. I will buy this book today!

  4. March 4, 2014 10:47 am

    A memoir that incorporates gardening? Yes please! This sounds lovely.

  5. Patty permalink
    March 4, 2014 1:08 pm

    This book sounds lovely.

  6. March 4, 2014 3:08 pm

    This sounds wonderful!

  7. talesofwhimsy permalink
    March 4, 2014 3:27 pm

    O sounds fantastic. I loved how it moved you. Lovely review.

  8. March 4, 2014 4:37 pm

    I thought I didn’t want to read this book, but after reading your glowing review, I’ve changed my mind!

  9. March 4, 2014 7:28 pm

    This sounds to be a very beautiful read! I will have to look for it.

  10. March 4, 2014 9:22 pm

    I have not heard of this one, you have piqued my curiosity.

  11. March 4, 2014 9:58 pm

    I think I might need this one, even if tissues are needed 🙂

  12. March 5, 2014 1:52 am

    This sounds wonderful. I think I’ll go with the audio for this one though.

  13. March 5, 2014 10:26 am

    I’ve had two friends recommend this book to me – actually, I believe Ms. Wall lives near me here in Virginia. I’m hoping she does book club visits. Her book also got a very favorable review in People magazine recently. Thanks for the suggestion, and I like Leslie’s idea about an audio book- that might be just the positive message I need while forever driving around in the minivan!

  14. March 5, 2014 3:23 pm

    Kathy, this sounds like my kind of book! I like that this memoir is also about gardening–I am about to plant some spearmint….

  15. bookingmama permalink
    March 6, 2014 9:13 am

    I’m looking forward to reading this one! I love how it spoke to you and will read it with that in mind!

  16. Heather permalink
    March 6, 2014 11:09 am

    That’s it. I have to get my hands on this book. It sounds to wonderful to pass up!

  17. March 6, 2014 12:02 pm

    This sounds lovely! I’m going to have to give this one a try.

  18. March 7, 2014 10:21 am

    I had seen this one on audio but didn’t think I would like it. Now I’m thinking maybe I would.

  19. March 7, 2014 8:34 pm

    I love memoirs and this one sounds outstanding. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Even book sellers can miss a gem like this.

  20. March 8, 2014 1:35 pm

    This looks really good!

  21. Beth F permalink
    March 11, 2014 7:17 am

    I’m not sure why I haven’t read this yet … Not enough time for everything!

  22. April 22, 2014 6:20 am

    I’ve been seeing this book and wondering about it–now I’ll have to pick it up!

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