Cheryl's Reviews > Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto

Cutting Back by Leslie Buck
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it was amazing
bookshelves: biography-autobiography, garden, nature, nonfiction

A young, successful business owner decides that she wants to further her tree pruning skills with an apprenticeship in Koyoto, Japan and winds up on an elite landscaping company that shows her no leniency nor favoritism. 6 day, 10 hour weeks into the chills of winter teach her humility, tenacity and a skill set that's almost Garden Tao. She does not speak Japanese, nor do they American, so much of her duties are hopeful completions with determined vigor. She gets homesick for her boyfriend and the warmth of her home in California, but acquires such a dignified work ethic that it's worth every miserable minute. Acquiescent to the ways of the country, she bows deeper, demures readily, and soaks up the traditions she meets in every new garden she tends. A novelty to most in an occupation held primarily by men, she hardly blends in..yet holds her own against the near tyranny of the "bossman" .. Towards the end of her apprenticeship, she is near breaking, but perseveres to the end, respectfully among the team she worked with. There are many "hacks" offered and splendid garden "views" shared, along with the amazing people she meets who own or run these quintessential gardens.

The book got sloppy towards the end, probably due to deadlines, with a couple paragraphs being repeated and spaces missed between sentence ends, but it hardly distracted from the joy of reading this book. Right there with "Lab Girl" by Hope Jahren, it will remain in my Garden collection to read again and again.
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Reading Progress

January 13, 2017 – Shelved
January 13, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
March 4, 2017 – Started Reading
March 8, 2017 – Finished Reading
March 10, 2017 – Shelved as: biography-autobiography
March 10, 2017 – Shelved as: garden
March 10, 2017 – Shelved as: nature
March 10, 2017 – Shelved as: nonfiction

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