Anthology,  Book Reviews,  Poetry

Book Review: Leaning toward Light: Poems from the Garden for Growth and Wholeness

Leaning toward Light: Poems from the Garden for Growth and WholenessLeaning toward the Light: Poems from the Garden for Growth and Wholeness by Tess Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Over the years, we’ve turned our Mid-Michigan country acre into a series of gardens, islands of happiness and peace (and sweat and toil, but that’s needful, healthy, even) where everything is a treat for the eyes or the taste buds, or both. I can’t imagine life without at least a small patch of soil to push a seed into. When it’s too cold or rainy to work with the soil, I enjoy staying indoors with a good book. Leaning toward Light is a lovely rainy-day read for any gardener.

The subtitle of this book is what first caught my eye and put a smile on my face. “Poems for Gardens & the Hands That Tend Them”. I admired the cover art, and when I opened the book, I saw fresh and vibrant illustrations in harmony with that cover, scattered throughout. I paused to make a cup of herbal tea, as I could clearly see that enjoying this book would require one.

Don’t skip over Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s introduction, which gracefully ties poetry, life, and gardens together. As you continue reading, you’ll find anecdotes, recipes, and of course, lots of poetry. My personal favorites are “Wild Oregano” and “Interview with the Pear Tree”, but your favorites will depend on your personal experiences with life, gardens, food, family, love, memories, and who knows what else? Everything is connected. If I counted correctly, 89 different poets are represented in this book, and that makes a remarkable gathering.

So, scrub the soil from your hands and set your galoshes aside, just for a little while. Enjoy a celebration of our gardens. It’s bloomin’ good!

My thanks to Tess Taylor, Storey Publishing, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital advance review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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