An intriguing story of a place, a person and the garden she created. In 1988 Katherine Swift arrived at the Dower House at Morville to create a garden of her own. This beautifully written, utterly absorbing book is the history of the many people who have lived in the same Shropshire house, tending the same soil, passing down stories over the generations. Spanning thousands of years, The Morville Hours takes the form of a medieval Book of Hours.
It is a meditative journey through the seasons, but also a journey of self-exploration. It is a book about finding one’s place in the world and putting down roots.
©2008 Katherine Swift (P)2011 Audible Ltd
"A magical book. I have read it twice now. I love the richness of Katherine Swift’s prose; the flashes of her family’s story that are scattered through the deliciously written text; the gorgeous detail. The Morville Hours is the most beautiful book I have read in years." (Nigel Slater)
"This is gardening writing at its best. Swift’s prose brings the garden alive in all its details, scents and meaning … Evocative, heartfelt and magical." (Guardian)
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The story of the gardens at Morville is much more that just their making. It is the story of many lives and the history of this part of Shropshire. It is the sort of book that makes one want to go outside inspired to garden! Brilliant.
"Perfect marriage of person and prose"
A perfect marriage of person and prose. Katherine Swift's captivating account of making a garden treats the historical and biographical as the frame on which her garden story grows. I have lost count of the number of times I've listened to this book which satisfies in every way that a story should. You cannot help but fall in love with the garden as she did. Buy it and you'll always have a place to go to when you need sustenance.
"A beautiful combination of gardening, history and place"
Katherine Swift has written and narrated a truly beautiful book. It is a stunning combination of local and personal history, gardening and place. I loved it. Do you need to be a gardener to enjoy it? Possibly but not necessarily. A love of history is however a must.
"The most beautiful book - movingly read"
I was in hospital and didn't know if it was day or night - this audiobook was my anchor. Katherine Swift's reading is a balm, the story is epic, sweeping and yet full of small wonders. Gentle and meditative, yet mind expanding and epic, utterly transformative and healing. A book that was and is a gift and remains a joy to me. Listen to it at night if you can't sleep, or if you are worried or your mind is racing, listen to it if your life needs perspective, your heart needs a boost or you need mending, challenging or renewing. A reading of utter beauty and grace.
Yes - this is a beautiful reading of a beautiful book. Katherine Swift reads her own book about how she created her garden at Morville. Her performance isn't perfect, but she conveys the emotion she feels about her garden and her home, which made this a lovely listen.
The book combines the story of the creation of a garden, the history of the Morville community and an autobiographical account of the author's life. It follows the format of a medieval book of hours, and I found the passages describing the different times of the monks' day brought the writing to life.
The ending - it brought together everything I'd been listening to so beautifully and I felt a deep sense of satisfaction.
"History lesson, gardening and meditation ..."
This is a simply beautiful book which manages to combine history, gardening information, and a gentle meditation on the passing of time all in one wonderfully accessible book. This is not the kind of book which I would normally choose, but I found myself mesmerised by the descriptions and the wonderful titbits of information which I gained. Thoroughly enjoyed and recommended.
This book is not quite like anything else I've come across. It is a meditation on the history of a garden, a village, a part of England, a woman. The different elements combine seamlessly, with each of the different layers of experience providing context for the others.
Katherine Swift writes beautifully, and the fact that she herself is the narrator means that her carefully chosen words receive exactly the emphasis she wants.
I loved it.
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