Gwen pours all of her emotions into gardening. We feel Gwen's grief when her death is later announced - in fact, part of the novel reads like a love letter to Woolf - as well as her grief at the ways in which London has been lost to her. Si innamora di un capitano che abita nelle vicinanze, ma in amore è sfortunata e del resto la guerra incombe. In fact, she's quite shy and introverted with a low opinion of herself. These women have volunteered to grow vegetables for the war effort.
Helen Humphreys brings so much emotion and soul to her writing that you feel the angst of her characters, their loss, their sorrow, their hope. And the longing, and the love, and the grief. Once the choice is to come less: then there is no stopping the momentum of goodbye. As in Coventry, I found that this author has a gift for description; scenes and locations spring visually to life. She isn't the kind of heroine I like. She stumbles upon a forgotten garden planned around themes of love, and as she works diligently to revive it, she allows its messages to take root in her soul.
The thing with war is this, we cannot change ourselves enough to fit the shape of it. Her discovery mirrors the discoveries she makes about herself along the way. Virgins Woolf and her To the Lighthouse play an important part in this novel. There were so many profound passages in this book that I kept stopping to write them down so that I would never lose them. Who needs a change of pants anyway? With poignant, poetic mastery of her craft, Helen Humphreys has produced a smart, no-nonsense, and utterly sympathetic character in Gwen Davis.
No one will be more changed by the stay than Gwen. The stupidity of vegetables is preferable to the unpredictability of people. Boy am I glad I did! Also, I did not particularly like Gwen. Non c' Romanzo che ho letto per partecipare a un GdL. They are infinitely more reliable. It wasn't a long novel at all, not even 200 pages, but it felt utterly complete, and still open to so much more. Her work has been translated into many languages.
I borrowed this book from the library, but I think I'll buy it for myself so I can reread it as much as I want. Indeed, Humphreys is an award-winning poet and has four books of poetry under her belt. In the end, Gwen discovers that the entire garden was a garden of love. She will inspire the girls to restore the estate gardens, fall in love with a soldier, find her first deep friendship, and bring a lost garden, created for a great love, back to life. Gwen Davis, our narrator and protagonist, is a 35 year old horticulturist. I realized halfway through, that I can think of at least 3 people locally who would love this book, though I might be reluctant to let it leave.
Helen has written a beautiful book that is nothing short of a delight. There is no stopping it. She discovers her own value, the value of love, and what it means to be home. They are infinitely more r What a lovely book! Gwen is an utterly realistic construct; she is flawed and unpredictable, and filled with a wealth of doubts and insecurities. Each loved thing slips away. I loved it so much that I decided to make it my choice for this month and I hope the rest of the group love it as much as I do. Shy, solitaty, unsure of herself except when it comes to her knowledge of plants, she writes letter to Virginia Woolf in her head, and puts the volumes of The Genus Rosa an encyclopedia of all the roses known to man on her body when she lies in bed to calm herself.
Her second novel, Afterimage 2000 , won the 2000 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Helen Humphreys has created a novel that is both heartrending and heart-mending. I love Helen Humphreys' prose, poetic and fluid, with moments of such intense beauty and truth at times. She also tries to seduce the world-weary, hard-drinking Captain Raley, who has a secret of his own that dooms their relationship. And as her affecting story unfolds and she plumbs the mysteries of gardening, readers too will explore the depths of the soil in which grow the tender shoots of love. Lovely prose, lovely characters, and an interesting, tender plot with a heartbreaking ending. Gwen is 35, plain, single, and not good at relating to, or leading, others.
But mostly, though, it was so brillantly and beautifully written. Her collections of poetry include Gods and Other Mortals 1986 ; Nuns Looking Anxious, Listening to Radios 1990 ; and, The Perils of Geography 1995. Gwen Davis, who has never known love or intimacy, leaves the Royal Horiticulure Society in London during the Blitz and her work on cankers in parsnips yes, cankers in parsnips , to work with the Women's Land Army on an estate in Devon, where soldiers await their orders. There are three portions to the garden: Longing, Loss and Faith. Beautiful, beautiful writing, poetic at times, begging to be read again and again. There, she must organize a group of young women who are to grow food for the war effort. Small streets that twisted like vines.
I will be pondering her musings and ruminations on love, longing, and loss for weeks to come. I promise you'll like it so please run right out and get this book. One of the other volunteers, Jane, is grappling with the reality of a missing finance. Some days she locked me outside because she couldn't bear to look at me. But looking deeper, the reader finds that like, the lost garden of the title, the story is multi-layered and the best layers are hidden beneath the weeds and neglect. There is a small contingent of Canadian soldiers camped in the farm's main building; the girls have loads of fun organizing dances for the men, but do not quite have torrid affairs, in fact it's all quite chaste and platonic, bar a little heavy breathing in the secret garden. She was born in Kingston-on-Thames, England, and now lives in Kingston, Ontario with her dog, Hazel.