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Critical Praise

“…a book that is warm, wise and unexpectedly deep.” 

—Jonathan Alter, author of THE CENTER HOLDS: Obama and His Enemies

“In this profoundly moving memoir, Owita teaches Wall how to find grace amid heartbreak and to accept that beauty exists because it is fleeting --- as in her garden, as in life.”

—People, 4 stars

“The basic goodness of Owita’s attitude may cause you to beam spontaneously as you read, leading to off looks from strangers at the coffee shop.”


"No green thumb is required to enjoy the warmhearted pleasures of Carol Wall's moving memoir, MISTER OWITA’S GUIDE TO GARDENING...magnetically compelling...Grace and gardening go hand-in-glove in this fine book about what really matters in life: friendship, kindness and watching a garden grow." 

—USA Today

"A must-read memoir. Both shocking and profoundly moving." 

—AARP blog

“This memoir touches upon everything that is important in life. Not only is it beautifully written --- I am also in awe of Carol Wall’s raw honesty and incredible courage.”

—Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of THE KITCHEN HOUSE

“Carol Wall’s suspenseful tale of human frailty and courage is a marvel. In her garden, an unexpected bond slowly forms as two people from distant worlds help each other confront long-buried secrets and fears. Deeply personal, poetic and brimming with humanity, this is a book of lasting grace.”

—Steve Lopez, New York Times bestselling author of THE SOLOIST

“Carol Wall’s disarming memoir, MISTER OWITA’S GUIDE TO GARDENING, is a poignant tale of an unlikely teacher and a doubting student, who, by bringing a neglected patch of ground back to life, reveal the secrets of reclaiming, restoring and freeing a wounded soul. It is a generous story filled with grace enough to bring healing to the reader as well. An engaging personal and spiritual journey into life’s essential questions.” 

—Jonathan Odell, author of THE HEALING

“You won't learn much about gardening in this beautiful book…But you will put Wall's memoir down with a new appreciation for how far roots can travel for nourishment, especially those that spring from our hearts.” 

—The New York Times Book Review

"This tender narrative gently probes the complicated terrain of American race relations, dealing with serious illness and facing the death of loved ones."

—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Consistently articulate, affably crafted prose…A pleasure to read. Wall’s bittersweet story of human kindness has universal appeal.” 

—Kirkus Reviews