Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart (Paperback)
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A unique friendship blooms in a backyard garden in this heartwarming and inspiring memoir of human connection, joy, and resilience.
Carol Wall is at a turning point in her life when she meets Giles Owita, the Kenyan man who tends her neighbor’s garden. Looking into her own neglected yard, she realizes she could more than use his help. But as Giles transforms Carol’s property into a lush garden, Carol begins to form a deep, meaningful bond with Giles that transcends their cultural differences.
Giles is just the person to revitalize not only Carol’s yard, but her life. As the petals of their friendship begin to open, the two begin to connect over their shared experiences that exist despite their very different beginnings.
Giles Owita brings his wisdom, kindness, and his bright perspective to both Carol and the reader in this joyful friendship story, inspiring you to appreciate the beauty and cultivate meaningful relationships in the garden of your life. Includes a Readers Guide
About the Author
Carol Wall is a writer whose essays and articles have appeared over many years in Southern Living magazine and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She lives on a tree-lined street in the heart of Middle America.
“In this profoundly moving memoir, Owita teaches Wall how to find grace amid heartbreak and to accept that beauty exists because it is fleeting—as in her garden, as in life.” —People, 4 stars
“In this lovely memoir, a surprising friendship blooms between a horticulturist with a harrowing secret and the author, a cancer survivor with a bad attitude and a sad yard. A perfect spring awakening.”—Good Housekeeping
"No green thumb is required to enjoy the warmhearted pleasures of Carol Wall's moving memoir, Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening.... magnetically compelling ... Grace and gardening go hand-in-glove in this fine book about what really matters in life: friendship, kindness and watching a garden grow." —USA Today
“With her children grown and out of the house, Carol Wall is obsessed—perhaps overly so—with ripping out her azaleas. That is, until she meets a certain Giles Owita, Kenyan gardener, supermarket bagger, general-life philosopher and perhaps one of the most refined and gracious characters to ever hit the page (except that he’s real)… A warning for the shy: The basic goodness of Owita’s attitude may cause you to beam spontaneously as you read, leading to off looks from strangers at the coffee shop.” —Oprah.com
"A must-read memoir.... Both shocking and profoundly moving. This book is not just about gardening." —AARP blog
“In this heartbreaking yet heartwarming paean to the joys of friendship and gardening, Wall crafts an elegiac tribute to an extraordinary man.” —Booklist
"[T]his memoir chronicl[es] the many lasting rewards garnered from an unexpected friendship..." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A pleasure to read. Wall’s bittersweet story of human kindness has universal appeal." —Kirkus Reviews
"I couldn’t put this book down. I found myself liking the principal characters from the opening pages, and my affection for them never wavered. If you enjoy inspirational memoirs or gardening books (or both), this moving account of a life-changing friendship is for you." —Bookpage