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April 10, 2014 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall

Mr Owita's Guide To GuardeningMister Owita’s Guide to Gardening
by Carol Wall
Narrated by Cynthia Darlow

Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publish Date: March 1, 2014
Format: Audio, 6 hours | 48 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy
Rating: 5 of 5

“The true story of a unique friendship between two people who had nothing – and ultimately everything – in common.”

My Thoughts

When I first saw the title of this book I thought it might be about gardening. As I began listening, I quickly learned the author did not like gardening and hates doing yard work. She doesn’t even like flower and wanted to rip out the Azaleas. Her yard is a mess and she realizes it is a neighborhood eyesore. Soon Mr. Owita would come to her rescue, in more ways than one.

Although gardening does play a role in introducing Carol to Mr. Owita, this is not a story about gardening. When the two first meet they appear to have nothing in common other than Carol needs someone to make her yard look better. Carol is a middle-class southern white woman and Giles Owita is an immigrant from Kenya who works at a grocery store and as a gardener to make ends meet. As they work together in Carol’s garden they share their stories and eventually a few family secrets. We learn that things are not always as they appear.

This is a story about friendships, relationships, families, growing older, dealing with adversity and overcoming what live tosses in your way. A beautifully written, heartfelt story, both happy and sad. If I appear to be deliberately vague, it’s because I am. To reveal too much of the story will ruin it for the reader. It’s best to experience each revelation as the author unveils it. Highly recommended – don’t miss this one.

Audio Production:

The book was read by Cynthia Darlow and although she has won several awards, this was the first time I had listened to one of her productions. Her southern accent for Carol sounded convincing (but then, I’m a northerner), and she also had a believable Kenyan accent for Mr. Owita and his wife. This was an easy book to listen to and at only 7 hours long, I flew through it in two days.

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Source: Review copy provided by Penguin Audio.
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8 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Apr 10 2014 6:59 am

    I read this in print and adored it so I’m glad to see the audio version is well done.

    Like

    • Leslie / Apr 10 2014 8:05 am

      I moved this up on my to-read list when I read your review last month and I’m so glad I did.

      Like

  2. Beth Hoffman / Apr 10 2014 7:34 am

    I read this book when it first came out and loved it, which is saying a lot because I’m not usually a big fan of memoirs.

    Like

    • Leslie / Apr 10 2014 8:05 am

      I’m selective on memoirs and only choose those with topics of interest to me. I thought this would be about gardening. It wasn’t, but I loved it anyway.

      Like

  3. Suko / Apr 10 2014 10:26 am

    This sounds so wonderful! I know Kathy enjoyed it a lot also.

    Like

  4. Beth F / Apr 12 2014 5:58 am

    I have this on my list! Must get to it soon — I will definitely try the audio.

    Like

  5. stacybuckeye / Apr 20 2014 8:00 pm

    This is new to me and if you say I MUST read it I’ll head to Goodreads and my to-read list 🙂

    Like

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