Where the Hornbeam Grows: A Journey in Search of a Garden (Hardback)Beth Lynch (author)
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What do you do when you find yourself living as a stranger? When Beth Lynch moved to Switzerland, she quickly realised that the sheer will to connect with people would not guarantee a happy relocation.
Out of place and lonely, Beth knows that she needs to get her hands dirty if she is to put down roots. And so she sets about making herself at home in the way she knows best - by tending a garden, growing things. The search for a garden takes her across the country, through meadows and on mountain paths where familiar garden plants run wild, to the rugged hills of the Swiss Jura. In this remote and unfamiliar place of glow worms and dormice and singing toads she learns to garden in a new way, taking her cue from the natural world. As she plants her paradise with hellebores and aquilegias, cornflowers and Japanese anemones, these cherished species forge green and deepening connections: to her new soil, to her old life in England, and to her deceased parents, whose Sussex garden continues to flourish in her heart.
WHERE THE HORNBEAM GROWS is a memoir about carrying a garden inwardly through loss, dislocation and relocation, about finding a sense of wellbeing in a green place of your own, and about the limits of paradise in a peopled world. It is a powerful exploration by a dazzling new literary voice of how, in nurturing a corner of the natural world, we ourselves are nurtured.
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 402 g
Dimensions: 218 x 142 x 30 mm
I loved Beth Lynch's tender, wise meditation on grief, home, and the restorative magic of making a garden -- OLIVIA LAING, author of THE LONELY CITY
Beth's prose is as iridescent as the alpine gentians she describes. Her deep love of plants and gardens shines off every page -- JESSICA SEATON
A quiet celebration of the garden, and the act of gardening. Through her connection to the earth, Lynch finds refuge, beauty and a sense of restoration - and her writing offers the same. I loved it -- SUSAN FLETCHER
Beth Lynch grew up in rural East Sussex, where her parents, avid gardeners, taught her to love plants. As an adult she was uprooted to Switzerland with her husband, leaving behind the hellebores, geraniums, aquilegias and cornflowers dear to her heart. The move was a melancholy one. Feeling herself lonely, she turned again to the restorative magic of gardening to cure her homesickness. This tender, wise book shows how in doing so she reconnected with all that was familiar and found happiness * THE SIMPLE THINGS *
[Lynch] writes lyrically about the natural world -- Constance Craig Smith * DAILY MAIL *
A lyrical but also fiercely funny account of how having green fingers can cure your soul -- Kathryn Hughes * MAIL ON SUNDAY *
A lyrical reminiscence of cultivating a sense of rootedness in a new and (at least seemingly) inhospitable environment -- Rafia Zakaria * TLS *
Engaging . . . the wistful dreams of the garden-less gardener are not steeped in green lawns and tidy borders; they luxuriate on wilder things - plants bearing emotional attachments and wilful, obstinate character . . . Lynch's prose deals liberally in astute and subtle observation and, similar to reading V.S. Naipaul or Jan Morris, I found myself inclined towards multiple sittings . . . exceptional writing -- Matt Collins * HORTUS *
Beth Lynch is a gifted writer . . . This is a subtle book of evolving voices. The detailed and enthralling chapters describing Lynch's idyllic childhood garden in East Sussex and later her rustic home in the bucolic Swiss mountains of the Jura are joyous and vivid. The text is bright and buzzing with insects, bats, toads and butterflies . . . her lyrical writing about the natural world transports the reader to another dimension -- Hannah Gardner * GARDENS ILLUSTRATED *
Beth Lynch's beautiful book evades easy categorisation: part memoir, part travelogue, part heartfelt nature writing, this evocative book is deeply reflective on the themes of memory, sense of place and how we choose to entangle ourselves (or not) with the world and people around us . . . a contemplative read that will be particularly enjoyed by keen gardeners and nature lovers, but even the least green-fingered reader will warm to Beth's memorable, almost poetic meditations on family, sense of self and finding one's place in the world. A book to be enjoyed in the summer, in as green a space as possible -- Charlotte Griffiths * CAMBRIDGE EDITION magazine *
An utterly lyrical, charming account of how having green fingers can begin to soothe the soul * IRISH MAIL ON SUNDAY *
Gorgeously written memoir about inheritance, exile and the healing power of gardening -- Caroline Sanderson * 'Editor's Choice' - THE BOOKSELLER *
When Lynch moves to Switzerland she feels isolated and takes refuge in her love of gardening. In the process she reconnects with the garden of her Seventies Sussex childhood. A lyrical, charming account of how having green fingers can soothe your soul * MAIL ON SUNDAY Summer Books *