Best read slowly to savour writing

London's Kew Gardens come to life in a delightful book by Tor Udall. 

Tor Udall


The setting for this delightful and intriguing book is London's stunning Kew Gardens.

All gardeners will confirm that working with plants involves creativity, life and death. As an observer it is deeply enriching and enlivening and good for inner peace.

A map of Kew Gardens is provided, which I found both helpful and distracting.

Most of the action takes place within the garden boundaries, and in the homes of the book's principal characters.

There is firstly Jonah, who is in a state of paralysing grief after the apparent suicide of his wife Audrey, who despite several attempts could not carry a baby to full term.

Then there is his later, offbeat girlfriend Chloe, who is devoted to the art of origami. Then, always within the garden, are a mysterious older man, Harry, and a little girl, Milly.

This is a book to be read slowly, taking time to savour the beauty of the writing, the sensitivity of the description of a story of love, loss and the joy of gardening, and gardens, and, of course, of origami.

Margaret Bannister is a retired Dunedin psychotherapist and science teacher.

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