Tuesday, May 11, 2021

"Elizabeth and her German Garden" by Elizabeth von Arnim

I loved this book!  Oh, it was so refreshing and fun.  I am well on my way to being a firm fan of Elizabeth von Arnim -- in fact, I have bought a couple more of her books already.  I love how she makes me laugh!

This is really a journal in which she talks about her efforts to create the perfect garden in the home she shares with her German husband and their children.  Her garden is her retreat, her pet project, and her creative oasis for several years.  She has grand plans for it, but her series of German gardeners never quite seem to either approve of or understand those plans.  Still, she loves her garden.  I love to garden myself, and even though I don't have to deal with intractable gardeners, my little flower garden never quite does what I want it to either.  Gardens foster patience, I think.

But don't think that this book is boring because it's about an Australian who likes flowers and is married to a German.  It is hilarious.  Witty, wry, friendly, salty -- just altogether marvelous.  It reads like a series of letters from a sarcastic and yet kind friend, and I loved getting to read it in the springtime when my own flower gardening is underway.

Particularly Good Bits:

Sometimes I feel as if were blest above all my fellows in being able to find my happiness so easily (p. 15).

A woman's tongue is a deadly weapon and the most difficult thing in the world to keep in order, and things slip off it with a facility nothing short of appalling at the very moment when it ought to be most quiet (p. 25).

Well, trials are the portion of mankind, and gardeners have their share, and in any case it is better to be tried by plants than persons, seeing that with plants you know that it is you who are in the wrong, and with persons it is always the other way about (p. 57).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for some very pointed wit indeed.


This was my 20th book read and reviewed for my third Classics Club list, and my 23rd book read off my TBR shelves for #TheUnreadShelfProject2021

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