Tara Austen Weaver
Summary (from Goodreads): For fans of Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving memoir of rediscovering, reinventing, and reconnecting, as an estranged mother and daughter come together to revive a long-abandoned garden and ultimately their relationship and themselves.
Peeling paint, stained floors, vined-over windows, a neglected and wild garden—Tara Austen Weaver can’t get the Seattle real estate listing out of her head. Any sane person would have seen the abandoned property for what it was: a ramshackle half-acre filled with dead grass, blackberry vines, and trouble. But Tara sees potential and promise—not only for the edible bounty the garden could yield for her family, but for the personal renewal she and her mother might reap along the way.
So begins Orchard House, a story of rehabilitation and cultivation—of land and soul. Through bleak winters, springs that sputter with rain and cold, golden days of summer, and autumns full of apples, pears, and pumpkins, this evocative memoir recounts the Weavers’ trials and triumphs, detailing what grew and what didn’t, the obstacles overcome and the lessons learned. Inexorably, as mother and daughter tend this wild patch and the fruits of their labor begin to flourish, green shoots of hope emerge from the darkness of their past.
For everyone who has ever planted something that they wished would survive—or tried to mend something that seemed forever broken—Orchard House is a tale of healing and growth set in a most unlikely place.
Review: This book made me want to dig up my yard and plant a huge vegetable garden, except it also made me realize that I really don't have time to take care of a big garden right now. Unlike the author, I would prefer to have a life with friends and family and other non-garden things in it. There were some beautiful descriptive moments, when talking about the meadow and the orchard and the arching blackberry vines, reminiscent of magical childhood gardens like The Secret Garden. I preferred reading about the challenges in gardening, rather than remembrances of the author's unhappy, neglected childhood with her distant workaholic mother.
Rating: 3.5 stars