A Handful of Earth: A Year of Healing and Growing Paperback – 24 Jan 2008
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'She writes by turns movingly and humorously, but always beautifully ... gloriously uplifting' (Sunday Telegraph)
'Profoundly moving' (Daily Telegraph)
'Tender but resolutely unsentimental ... a grittily wise testament to life' (Financial Times)
A memoir of love, loss and gardeningSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
I usually tend to avoid memoirs dealing with grief and loss because I find them too upsetting, but I was drawn to this book by the cover and the gardening aspect, and I am so glad that I gave it a try. The author has been through such a lot of sadness and consequently it could have been very easy for this book to get too mired down in sentiment or become overly heavy and maudlin in places- but the beautiful prose and attention to detail that the author pays to her garden and of her plants slowly creeping to life around her as the seasons change, ultimately ensures that this books final message is one of hope. I actually found this to be a very uplifting and engaging book to read. It is also a wonderful way for her to honour her husband's memory- I felt like I knew them both by the time I had finished reading.
Highly recommended. This is a book that will stay with me and will undoubtedly be a thought-provoking (and also possibly inspiring) read for many people out there.
The diary idea also works better and better as the book goes on; more than just a year of her life, it seemed to me to somehow define her growing understanding of life as a whole...she certainly learnt a lot from their suffering, and shares some of this with the reader. Her motto - `keep on trying', `dont give up' - inspired me! A must read for anyone trying to come to terms with grief and lots of lessons for the rest of us. Thanks; I couldn't put the book down, but didn't want to finish it....the very definition of a good book to me!
I grew up in Leeds and attended St Gemma's when it was a primary school (run by Sisters of the Cross and Passion - always cross and they only showed real passion when applying discipline!) It is delightful to think that it is now such a place of peace; when she describes her husband's admission in October 2003 the phrase 'infinite kindness' stayed with me. Her descriptions of the city; the buildings, the parks, the allotment, all brought back a host of memories.
This is a true joy and one of those rare books that make you feel better about all sorts for having read it. Barney Bardsley eschews sympathy but simply expresses her feelings and thoughts with such clarity and description that you find yourself re-reading sections wondering how does she know that that is exactly how you feel too? I have bought it as a gift for friends and they have all loved it too. So thank you Barney, Molly, Muffin and Tim for enriching our lives.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What are beautiful book.
Truly thought-provoking, without being morose. I first borrowed this book from my library - and was so inspired by it, I bought it so that I could... Read more
I bought this book because I had read it already and loved it.It is a true account of the writer's struggle to cope with the desolation she feels following the death of her huband,... Read morePublished on 4 Jun. 2009 by C. R. Baldwin
this was sheer pleasure to read. It is so beautifully written and by the end I felt like i knew barney bardsley. Read morePublished on 27 Feb. 2009 by Mrs. T. Teale