Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart

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A moving true story of the unlikely friendship between two people who had nothing—and ultimately everything—in common.

 
Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart, Carol Wall

A moving true story of the unlikely friendship between two people who had nothing—and ultimately everything—in common.

Carol Wall was at a crossroads. Her children had flown the nest, her beloved parents were ageing and she had overcome a serious illness. A neglected garden should have been the least of her worries.

Until one day she sees a man working in her neighbour's garden and realises he is responsible for its spectacular transformation. His name is Giles Owita. He comes from Kenya and he's very good at gardening.

It was kismet. … And while I knew from the moment I met him that he was something special - truly, I didn't know the half of it.'

Before long Mister Owita is transforming not only Carol's garden, but her life. Although they seem to have nothing in common, a bond grows between them. When both are forced to share long-buried secrets, their friendship is transformed forever.

This is the story of a woman who at mid-life finds there is so much more to learn and a man whose grace in facing life's challenges is a lesson for us all.

‘Deeply personal, poetic and brimming with humanity, this is a book of lasting grace.' Steve Lopez, New York Times bestselling author of The Soloist



Available Formats

  • Trade Paperback
    $34.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9780857983923
    Published: 03/03/2014
    Imprint: Bantam Australia Lic
    Extent: 304 pages
  • eBook
    CHECK RETAILER PRICE
    ISBN: 9780857983930
    Published: 03/03/2014
    Imprint: RHA eBooks Adult
    Extent: 304 pages
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"This memoir touches upon everything that is important in life. Not only is it beautifully written - I am also in awe of Carol Wall's raw honesty and incredible courage." - Kathleen Grissom, New York Times-bestselling author of The Kitchen House

"Carol Wall’s suspenseful tale of human frailty and strength is a marvel. In her garden, an unexpected bond slowly forms as two people from distant worlds help each other confront long-buried secrets and fears. Deeply personal, poetic and brimming with humanity, this is a book of lasting grace." - Steve Lopez, New York Times bestselling author of The Soloist

"Carol Wall’s disarming memoir Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening is a poignant tale of an unlikely teacher and a doubting student, who, by bringing a neglected patch of ground back to life, reveal the secrets of reclaiming, restoring, and freeing a wounded soul. It is a generous story filled with grace enough to bring healing to the reader as well. An engaging personal and spiritual journey into life’s essential questions." - Jonathan Odell, author of The Healing

"In this moving memoir chronicling the many lasting rewards garnered from an unexpected friendship, writer Wall enlists a neighbour’s gardener, a man from Kenya, to help maintain her garden. What begins as a purely professional relationship, with Wall hoping to learn more about gardening, blossoms into an intimate friendship ... Owita, a quiet and unassuming man, transforms Wall’s unkempt lawn into a living masterpiece, showing Wall the beauty inherent in everyday life ..." - Publishers Weekly starred review

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Carol Wall

Carol Wall

Carol Wall is a writer whose articles on family life have been popular features in magazines like Southern Living Magazine and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for more than twenty years. Juggling her passion for her work as an English teacher with a busy family life raising three children, a foster son and exchange students from Lithuania and Croatia provided her with plenty of material.
From her first teaching job at East High School in Nashville, Oprah Winfrey's alma mater, Carol built a reputation for connecting with even the most reluctant student through her gift for storytelling. She taught English in both public and private high schools in Tennessee and Virginia, and served as Writer-in-Residence for Roanoke County Schools. She is a member of the PEO Sisterhood, a philanthropic educational organisation which boasts 250,000 members worldwide and provides college scholarships for women.
Carol lives with her husband in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She has been battling Stage 4 breast cancer since 2008. Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening is her first book.