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Summary

In 1988 Katherine Swift arrived at the Dower House at Morville to create a garden of her own. This beautifully written, utterly absorbing book is the history of the many people who have lived in the same Shropshire house, tending the same soil, passing down stories over the generations.

Spanning thousands of years, The Morville Year takes the form of a medieval Book of Hours. It is a meditative journey through the seasons, but also a journey of self-exploration. It is a book about finding one's place in the world and putting down roots.

©2011 Katherine Swift (P)2012 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"You don't need more than a nodding acquaintance with a trowel or a packet of seeds to enjoy this delightful book. With her keen eye, her humour and great breadth of knowledge, Swift's enthusiasm is altogether pleasing" ( Daily Telegraph)
"Once again, the charm of Swift's writing is that it combines acute observation of nature, creative day-dreaming and scholarly musing. She addresses us as frankly and as unselfconsciously as a friend. There is something either interesting or useful to know on every page." (Amanda Craig, New Statesman)
"The wonderful thing about these pieces is that they not only describe what is going on in Swift's own garden but range across history, painting, landscape, language, geology, herbalism, cosmology, phenology and literature" ( Spectator)

What members say

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  • Tina
  • Bourne, United Kingdom
  • 09-08-18

I learnt so much in such an enjoyable way

This diary flits around from year to year, picking out the most interesting facts about things related to the garden in order of the seasons. As a fairly new gardener, it was enthralling to learn about our native plants and the exotic heritage of others with some charming reminiscences and asides thrown in. I loved it and intend going back through and take notes for future reference.
My only reservation was that the narrator has a rather stilted style and has no idea how to pronounce many words, especially when naming plants. Neverthess, she was quite easy to listen to and I'll enjoy delving back into it many times more.

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Enjoyable

I was in a dilemma as to whether or not to buy this book. I'd loved the previous book, The Morville Hours, but this one has a different narrator - who I'd heard reading the Lord Peter Wimsey detective stories, and absolutely hated her performance. However, I took a chance, and was glad I had. The content of the book is more completely focused on the garden than the previous book is, but still just as interesting. And fortunately Jane McDowell's voice is very much better suited to this book than it is to the Wimsey stories. If you like gardening and enjoy a gently undemanding book, then I'd certainly recommend this one.

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  • Emily Gayhart
  • 24-09-15

Rich in information from both the garden & history

I found myself fascinated by this book. It is full of delightful bits of information which becomes even more relevant when organized throughout the year as it is. I have now also ordered the Kindle book so that I can go back through & take notes.