Plot 29: A Memoir (Paperback)
  • Plot 29: A Memoir (Paperback)
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Plot 29: A Memoir (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 03/05/2018
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Longlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2018

Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2017

When I am disturbed, even angry, gardening has been a therapy. When I don't want to talk I turn to Plot 29, or to a wilder piece of land by a northern sea. There, among seeds and trees, my breathing slows; my heart rate too. My anxieties slip away.

As a young boy in 1960s Plymouth, Allan Jenkins and his brother, Christopher, were rescued from their care home and fostered by an elderly couple. They hoped they had found a new life and a family.  There, Allan started to grow flowers in their riverside cottage, learning love from his time in their garden, his first experience of tenderness.

As Allan grew older, his foster parents were never quite able to provide the family he and his brother needed, but the solace he found in tending a small London allotment echoed the childhood moments when he grew nasturtiums from seed.

Over the course of a year, Allan digs deeper into his past, seeking to learn more about his absent parents uncovering clues to his own hidden family history. What emerges is a vivid portrait of violence and neglect underpinned by kindness and one boy’s enduring love for his brother he couldn’t save.

A beautifully written, haunting memoir, Plot 29 is a mystery story and meditation on nature and nurture. It's also a celebration of the joy to be found in sharing food and flowers with people you love.

Read an exclusive interview with author Alan Jenkins

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780008121952
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 200 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'A compelling read ... Jenkins' story raises many questions, not least that of whether it's possible to transcend one's past. After his own agony, is redemption possible? Read this brilliant book, and weep' - The Herald

'Plot 29 is a superbly written testament to the power of earth to nourish and heal. The writing is taut and honed to a sinewy strength, but rich with evocation and delight ... I loved it' - Monty Don

'The sort of book you never forget reading: devastating, haunting and utterly beautiful' - India Knight

'An absolutely original book. Absolutely brilliant. The best family memoir I've read in years' - Bill Buford

'A thoughtful and beautifully realised meditation on families and all the love, loss, pain, healing and regeneration they can bring in their wake. A remarkable achievement' - William Dalrymple

'Allan Jenkins blooms. His garden bears fruit. Enter the seasons with him and grow. I love this book' - Lemn Sissay

'Brave, exquisitely written and utterly compelling' - Nigel Slater

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“A thought-provoking read”

A wonderful book. I wanted to read it as it ticked many boxes - writing about allotmenting, growing your own, and most important, using gardening and working the soil as a therapy. Allan Jenkins's story is... More

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