2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A introspective and honest memoir that's an example to other writers,
This review is from: Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart (Hardcover)
As usual I received this book for free in exchange for a review, this time from Shelf Awareness. Also as usual I give my candid opinions below.
To summarize, this book is a memoir that is only remotely about gardening. Rather than focus on those things that we putter about with in the ground it's really a story of the relationships that we cultivate with others and the impact that those relationships have on our lives.
To the positive side of things, the author of this memoir is as brilliantly introspective and self-aware as any of a memoir author I've read in a long time. It has been my general observation that authors of memoirs seem to describe in painful detail how they stormed through the world and how they made a difference and why you should recognize their greatness in some way. In this case the author candidly describes how one simple man made a huge difference in her own life while being unafraid to lay out for all to see how she very easily could have missed out on what he had to offer.
Also to the positive, the book has much to say about society and how we look at others. I will avoid spoilers by resorting to generalities, but we see examples of unintentional prejudice based on race, socioeconomics, general appearance and all this from a woman who prides herself on being a champion against these prejudices. This book is a delightful example of those accidental judgments that we all make and the author is candid enough to share these with us. Finally, we do also find in this book a delightful example of humanity and weakness under what is otherwise a superhuman image. Proving finally and completely that no one is entirely what they seem whether that be positive or negative.
The only negative I would put forth is that the story does at times grow a bit soft and saccharine sweet. These occurrences, however, are vanishingly brief and probably only of note because I'm a guy reading a somewhat female-oriented book.
In summary, this is the sort of memoir that is an example to other writers. It is candid, coherent, honest and the author has generously shared the lessons she's learned from her friend. It presents a wonderful view of human frailty from the viewpoint of a woman that we could all learn from as we deal with the world around us and the people in it. I'd buy her a cup of coffee any time.