I usually like my reading material to have a bit of depth to it but with travel ahead deliberately chose something lighter. The book is broken up into roughly six sections, one for each woman in the story. To my surprise and delight one section was about the healing power of a garden.
"What would it be like to design a garden to take care of someone?" asks Hadley.
Hadley is a young woman frozen in grief following the death of her husband in a car accident. She retreats to a tiny house hidden behind a neglected garden.
""...if you truly understood....that humans were made of bones and blood that broke and sprayed with the slightest provocation....in street curbs, and dangling tree limbs, bicycles and pencils-well, you would fly for the first nest in a tree, run flat out for the first burrow you saw."
"...loneliness...might not track her down the narrow bark covered path, might get lost among the unruly green, the whispered distraction of sweet white scents."
|Mud Maid sculpture by Susan Hill, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall|
It takes her months to begin but with the encouragement of the other women, who have also been given gifts particular to them, she begins.
The writing is lyrical, wise and sensitive. Restoring a garden is demanding. The writer slows the pace to mimic the effort allowing the reader to share the surprise and joy of each discovery. A woman has loved this garden before and what remains is passed from one to another.
A knight in shining armour wielding a magical trowel does not sweep Hadley off her feet. What does happen is much more realistic and satisfying.
For information on the creator of the Mud Maid click here