Ghosts in the Garden: Reflections on Memory, Identity, and Meaning

Overview

National Book Award nominee Beth Kephart's new book is an enchanting midlife meditation on aging, identity, and memory set against the backdrop of Chanticleer garden in Pennsylvania. On the morning of her forty-first birthday, Kephart, a mother, wife, and writer pressured by deadlines, finds herself at Chanticleer, one of the world's most celebrated pleasure gardens. She knows little of the language of flowers. Week after week, she returns to Chanticleer, recalling her childhood self, mulling over legacy and ...
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2005 Hardcover New in Fine jacket 1577314980 Ghosts in the Garden: Reflections on Endings, Beginnings, and the Unearthing of Self.

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Ghosts in the Garden: Reflections on Memory, Identity, and Meaning

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Overview

National Book Award nominee Beth Kephart's new book is an enchanting midlife meditation on aging, identity, and memory set against the backdrop of Chanticleer garden in Pennsylvania. On the morning of her forty-first birthday, Kephart, a mother, wife, and writer pressured by deadlines, finds herself at Chanticleer, one of the world's most celebrated pleasure gardens. She knows little of the language of flowers. Week after week, she returns to Chanticleer, recalling her childhood self, mulling over legacy and soul, striking up friendships with gardeners and conversations with other visitors. Succored by the seasons and the weather, she finds the grace notes in approaching middle age. There are lessons in seeds, and she finds them. There are lessons in letting go. Kephart writes about questions we all ask ourselves: How do we remember who we used to be? How do we imagine who we'll become? Have we lived our lives as we set out to do? What legacies do we wish to leave behind? The book spans a two-year cycle, and each chapter is accompanied by a gorgeous black-and-white photograph of Chanticleer by William Sulit. Ghosts in the Garden pulses with possibility and purpose, with wisdom that is ageless and transcendent.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On her 41st birthday, Kephart, feeling overwhelmed by deadlines, domestic worries and midlife, decides to visit the famed Chanticleer gardens, which are situated near her Philadelphia home, to reflect and remember. Against the serene backdrop of this splendid landscape, Kephart experiences something that "can happen to anyone anywhere-to anyone who takes a detour from routine and stops, at last, for answers to old questions." Sorting through memories, Kephart (author of two parenting books, one, A Slant of Sun, a National Book Award finalist) finds symbolic meaning in the soil, seeds and flowers of the garden, comparing their seasons and cycles to those of humankind. She muses on the potential of growth and evolution, associating moments in her life to events such as the popping open of seeds and bulbs in the spring. Over a two-year period, Kephart revisits Chanticleer, musing on the soul, identity and time, observing the world and questioning her past and present. Accompanied by stylish photos by Kephart's husband, William Sulit, these meditations will have readers pondering many big questions: What will I do with the next portion of my life? What will I count among my blessings? This pleasant book gently probes such issues, reminding readers of their universality. Agent, Amy Rennert. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781577314981
  • Publisher: New World Library
  • Publication date: 3/12/2005
  • Pages: 145
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Beth Kephart

Beth Kephart was nominated for a National Book Award for her memoir A Slant of Sun. Her first novel for teens, Undercover, received four starred reviews and was named a Best Book by Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and Amazon.com. In 2005 Beth was awarded the Speakeasy Poetry Prize.

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