Saturday, May 15, 2021

Rhapsody in Green: A novelist, an obsession, a laughably small excuse for a vegetable garden by Charlotte Mendelson


This is a cozy little memoir about a British woman's unconventional garden. Sweet chaos is how I'd describe it, actually. She doesn't really know what she's doing but she has heaps of enthusiasm, and when she's not accidentally killing off her plants, she's reveling in the different kinds of varietals. Rather than growing pretty flowers, she's obsessed with anything edible, and RHAPSODY IN GREEN chronicles her thoughts on various plants, her successes, her failures, mostly taking place in a very tiny plot in her humble backyard.

I recently started gardening with my mom so the idea of reading a book about another amateur gardener was pretty appealing to me. I get so excited about seeds-- I just got a pack of squash seeds that contains heirloom varieties of spring, summer, fall, and winter squash-- and my mom and I often fangirl over radishes and bokchoy, and everything in our garden is edible. So reading this book was kind of like reading someone after my own heart. I found myself nodding along to a lot of what she was saying, especially in those moments where enthusiasm eclipses ability and leads to (humorous) disappointment.

Her writing is gorgeous, self-effacing and descriptive. If you like quiet and cozy memoirs you can read on your porch, this is that. I don't think you'll enjoy this if you aren't a foodie or if you aren't into gardening, but if you love vegetables, and if you love growing vegetables, you'll love RHAPSODY IN GREEN. I myself am now tempted to race out and load up on arugula and golden beets.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

4 out of 5 stars

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