Life in the Garden
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Mr B's review
A gardening memoir that is a cut above. Not only is Penelope Lively a wonderful writer, she has also got 80+ years of gardening experience to draw upon. From the challenges of her grandmother’s garden in Cairo, to the slopes of Somerset and the challenges of gardening in older age, her own stories are interwoven with gardens in literature. The thoughtful prose is punctuated with levels of detail and observation that will satisfy horticulturalists and delight garden lovers.
**A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week 2017**
‘Rich and unusual, this is a book to treasure’ Alex Preston, Observer
Penelope Lively has always been a keen gardener. This book is partly a memoir of her own life in gardens: the large garden at home in Cairo where she spent most of her childhood, her grandmother’s garden in a sloping Somerset field, then two successive Oxfordshire gardens of her own, and the smaller urban garden in the North London home she lives in today.
It is also a wise, engaging and far-ranging exploration of gardens in literature, from Paradise Lost to Alice in Wonderland, and of writers and their gardens, from Virginia Woolf to Philip Larkin.
In Life in the Garden, [Penelope Lively] has given us something quite new; rich and unusual, this is a book to treasure . . . A book that gives words to something that those of us who garden know by instinct – how being in the garden raises the spirits, modulates the seasons * Alex Preston, Observer *
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