By Audur Ava Olafsdottir
About The Author:
Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir is an Icelandic writer. She works as an Art history professor at the Reykjavík University and she's the director of the Museum of the University of Iceland.
About The Book:
For Lobbi, the tragic passing of his mother proves to be a profound catalyst. Their shared love of tending rare roses in her greenhouse inspires him to leave his studies behind and travel to a remote village monastery to restore its once fabulous gardens. While transforming the garden under the watchful eye of a cinephile monk, he is surprised by a visit from Anna, a friend of a friend with whom he shared a fateful moment in his mother’s greenhouse, and the daughter they together conceived that night. In caring for both the garden and the little girl, Lobbi slowly begins to assume the varied and complex roles of a man: fatherhood with a deep relationship with his child, cooking, nurturing, and remaining also a son, brother, lover, and…a gardener. A story about the heartfelt search for beauty in life, The Greenhouse is a touching reminder of our ability to turn the small things in everyday life into the extraordinary.
This reads like a 'coming-of-age' story, with the exception that the lead character is a full-grown man. But oddly enough, the style and manner in which the author works all this out results in a very interesting read. The difficult and sometimes unusual problems Lobbi encounters forces him to change and grow throughout the story. I appreciated the fact that the author didn't take the obvious or easiest solutions but allowed the characters to experience the twists and turns of real life. The story is emotional and sometimes a little too 'made up', due I'm sure to the author's desire to give her readers as much as possible. In this story, a little less might have been better. But, with that said, when taken as a whole, this is an enjoyable story well worth the reader's attention. I'm happy to give this three Stars!
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