Grounding by Lulah Ellender

4 out of 5 stars

Lulah Ellender has a garden in Sussex, but whilst she cares for it and is raising her four children there, it is not hers. Soon after the death of her mother, she gets notice that the current owners of the property are looking at selling and she is effectively on notice for her home.

It is one thing too many; she freezes, not wanting to invest time in the garden with the thought that she will lose that too. It doesn’t last long, Ellender is a woman who lives for her garden and she is soon planting, planning and pottering in the out there.

It does give her time to take stock of where they are, where they might be and what her actual priorities are. Tending her garden provide a framework of routine and joy and she harvests produce that she thought she would never see. All the time in the background is an uncertain future.

If you want a book about how the tangle of modern life can be soothed by gardens and gardening, then I can recommend this. It didn’t feel morbid, as sometimes these books can, rather the actor gardening gives those that do it a sense of optimism, and I thought it was the same here. The writing is gentle and conversational, so much so that I felt I was alongside Ellender in her garden helping cut plants back or sitting in the shade with a glass of something and talking about life the universe and everything.

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  1. Penny Hull

    Great review! I really enjoyed this too.

    • Paul

      Thanks, Penny. I have her other book to read at some point too

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