Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening

Title: Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening
Author: Carol Wall
Publisher: Putnam / Amy Einhorn
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
ISBN: 97803999157981
Number of Pages: 295
How I Got It: contacted by publicist
Format: Hardcover

With echoes of The Last Lecture and The Middle Place, Carol Wall tells the inspiring true story of her unlikely friendship with Giles Owita, a Kenyan man who arrives one day to tend her bedraggled garden. As their relationship grows, Giles begins to not only transform her garden, but her life as well. What begins as a tentative relationship gradually blossoms into a friendship of great respect, sensitivity, and mutual support.  As these two seemingly dissimilar people reveal long-held secrets to each other, Carol takes heart from Giles’s unbounded joy in life, in gardening, and in the restorative cycles of nature, despite circumstances even more difficult than her own. The memoir is also, perhaps more importantly, an ode to Giles Owita himself. As this intelligent and complex man copes with his own challenges, he also simultaneously illuminates what truly matters in our lives – spouses, parents, children, illness, death, faith, joy, and, of course, flowers. 

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Reading Group Discussion Questions

My Review:
This novel is a heartwarming story about an unexpected friendship. Carol Wall has battled cancer, lost her sister at a young age, and is now solely responsible for her two aging parents. Her yard is the least of her worries until she sees her neighbor's oasis. Finding that this neighbor is employing a gardener to transform her yard, Wall approaches the gardener to assist her as well. The man with the green thumb is Giles Owita, a native Kenyan working at her local grocery store. His polite manners and sunny dispostion are pleasing to Wall but they disagree on the very first task in her yard transformation.  Wall eventually learns to trust Owita's decisions regarding the garden and they begin opening up a bit more to each other during their work. 
As this book progresses, the reader empathisizes with Wall's and Owita's struggles. Each chapter is a mini lesson that will make a reader laugh, cry, and then laugh while they cry. Wall provides a story that is both specific and universal. 
This would make a great gift book for anyone who believes certain people come into our lives to teach us a lesson and allow us to learn something about ourselves as well. 

** I received this book in exchange for an honest review **