Erin's Reviews > Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs: Family, Friendships, and Faith in Small-Town Alaska

Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs by Heather Lende
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Jul 11, 10

bookshelves: memoir
Read from July 09 to 11, 2010

This is one of my favorite memoirs. Lende takes just the right tone - a mix of common sense, wisdom she's learned firsthand from some of life's hard lessons, and compassion - in this story about the community of Haines, Alaska, which is intertwined with the story of her recovery from an awful biking accident in which she was run over by a car and broke 6 bones in her pelvis. It reminded me of some of my favorite memoir writers--Anne Lamott, Nora Ephron--in its tone and observations. It's optimistic without being sappy and contains many compelling stories. Yet she doesn't portray herself as being perfect or saintly, and when she talks about asking her husband 10 times in one day whether he thinks she should attend a peace walk, it was nice to know that I'm not the only one who can stew endlessly over a decision. I thought perhaps the title referred to part of her recovery after the bike accident, since she spent three weeks in a Seattle nursing home, the story that reveals its origin was even more heartwrenching. Definitely a favorite and a recommendation for anyone who likes the non-fiction work of Lamott or Ephron.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan Erin, I love Anne Lamott I first read Operating Instructions and more than any other book I've read, it captured the angst and joy of early motherhood. It's my favorite memoir, hands down. I'm going to get this one too, because from your description, I'm sure I'll love it. Thanks!


Erin My favorite Lamott is Bird by Bird - a good addition to your TBR if you haven't read it! It's her take on writing and also life.


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