The great English gardening novel?
This is an extremely intelligent, well-written, consistent and stimulating English novel about a gardener and a garden. No common-or-garden gardener is he, though, but rather a celebrated landscape architect, Robert Boyd – whose hero is Capability Brown – called in by those blessed with gardens big enough to be landscaped. One such couple, the Laceys – she flamboyant and American, he reserved and English – invite him to their Cornwall home, where on a strange isthmus of land they’d like him to re-create, er, The Garden of Eden. And this he sets about doing, quartering it with water, bussing in flamingoes and deer, replanting trees and shrubs, etc All under the vigilant eyes of the very charismatic wife and the rather sceptical husband, who has in turn a widowed sister who, Mrs Rochester-style, has been confined to a cottage on a hill nearby, to which our narrator repairs for a little telescope-gazing, history lessons and some brutal sex. Meanwhile, through encounters with his ex and his daughter in Oxford and back home in Norfolk, we come to see Boyd’s weaknesses as a man; he is married to his work and then some. The project devours him, and all who come into contact with it, including two Hardyesque naturals, a pair of local brothers who come to be the instruments of his creation. But not everyone can agree that what is being done, to the land, to lives, is the right thing. Conflicts simmer, tempers fray, accidents happen, someone dies. The story is brought to a good crescendo and a satisfying resolution.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Robert Boyd is a celebrated landscape architect, in a business which, he accepts, is often about dealing with people, not plants. He is at the peak of his career when he is offered a project no gardener could refuse – the re-creation of the Garden of Eden itself. This extraordinary challenge comes from an enigmatic couple, the Laceys – David, reserved and English; Virginia flamboyant and American – who own a beautiful, strange isthmus of land near the Cornish coast.
Though reluctant at first, Robert is soon immersed in the fascination of turning his clients' dream into reality: planting trees, creating watery idylls, populating the island with deer and flamingos – all under the vigilant eyes of the charismatic Virginia and the secretive gaze of David's estranged sister.
But the harmony Robert seeks to create in nature finds no parallel in his own life: over the years his dedication has taken a toll on his family and his own capacity for love. And even as he strives to construct his own representations of Paradise, he finds he is caught between frictions he has provoked in the real world – with shocking consequences. Robert, for the first time ever, is forced to examine the way he lives his life. What he discovers about himself is devastating . . .
At the heart of this gripping drama, Diana Saville has created a superb portrait of a man who had a way of life that he loved and must learn to value again. Wonderfully lyrical in its descriptions of the natural world, of gardens and of the passion and obsession they inspire, 'Capability's Eden' is Diana Saville's most astute, affecting and entertaining novel yet.
“There is a clarity and intelligence about Diana Saville's writing which is most appealing. She knows how to convey a passion for the natural world, and her knowledge really shines through.”
Diana Saville worked at a literary agency in London, before moving to the Welsh Marches, where she has become a writer and garden designer. She has written novels and books on landscape gardening and garden history.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Flamingo, 1999. Book Condition: Good. 1st ed. N/A. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP80397686
Book Description Flamingo. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G0002259087I5N00
Book Description Flamingo, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used; Acceptable. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. The book is perfectly readable and fit for use, although it shows signs of previous ownership. The spine is likely creased and the cover scuffed or slightly torn. Textbooks will typically have an amount of underlining and/or highlighting, as well as notes. If this book is over 5 years old, then please expect the pages to be yellowing or to have age spots. Bookseller Inventory # CHL1303785
Book Description Flamingo 01/11/1999, 1999. Book Condition: used-good. - GREAT BOOK IN GOOD OR BETTER CONDITION, NORMALLY SENT SAME DAY FROM WAREHOUSE. Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780002259088
Book Description Flamingo 01/11/1999, 1999. Book Condition: used-good. GREAT BOOK IN GOOD OR BETTER CONDITION, NORMALLY SENT SAME DAY FROM WAREHOUSE. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780002259088
Book Description Flamingo, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used; Very Good. Ships from the UK within 24 hours. Hardcover. Number of pages: 272. Condition: Very Good. May show some slight signs of wear. Bookseller Inventory # BBI60826
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # TT01181844B
Book Description Flamingo, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Best quality EX-LIBRARY copy, may have some stamps, marks etc Another Croaking bargain from the Frog !!!. Bookseller Inventory # mon0001502450
Book Description Flamingo, London, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. First Edition. A Good Read ships from Toronto and Niagara Falls, NY - customers outside of North America please allow two to three weeks for delivery. Slight lean to spine, wrinkles along edges of d/j. Minor shelfwear on edges. ; 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 14358
Book Description Flamingo, London, 1999. 1st ed. A bright, tidy copy in tight binding Used - Very Good. VG hardback in VG dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # BOOKS212835I