Carol Wall, a white woman living in a lily-white neighborhood in Middle America, was at a crossroads in her life. Her children were grown; she had successfully overcome illness; her beloved parents were getting older. One day she notices a dark-skinned African man tending her neighbor’s yard. His name is Giles Owita. He bags groceries at the supermarket. He comes from Kenya. And he’s very good at gardening.
Before long Giles is transforming not only Carol’s yard, but her life. Though they are seemingly quite different, a caring bond grows between them. But they both hold long-buried secrets that, when revealed, will cement their friendship forever.
*My Book Review*
DISCLAIMER: This book/eBook being reviewed was provided free of charge by NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Right away I fell in love with this book – even though it is, strictly speaking, not a gardening book. Instead it tells the story of a woman who is grappling with cancer, age and her life in general.
Carol can be quite a whingey whiner but her struggles are real and you cannot help but be pulled into her life. And, heck, aren’t we all a bit pompous and self important within our own internal monologue?
On the other hand, Giles is one of those people everyone aspires to be. He is kind, thoughtful and loyal to his friends and family. He is also struggling with issues in his life and deals with them in a completely different way to Carol.
At times I found this book a struggle to read. Not because it was awful, but because of the raw emotion the author manages to evoke in the reader. I cried at several points through this book (and once while sitting at the bus stop), but the story was worth every heartrending tear!
While I loved this book and it tugged at me emotionally, I found, at times, the characters supporting the two main characters were not given much justice. They appeared as Carol and Giles needed them and then disappeared without consequence afterwards. I really would have liked to see a more personal interaction between the main characters and the supporting ones.
Overall, I am giving Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall 4 out of 5 stars. make sure you have the tissues ready though!