Marcus is...a hedonist. Actually, he’s an unscrupulous toad, who lets down his pregnant girlfriend so he can continue to pursue the pleasures of drugs, drink, and sex. So, he is just a little more than surprised when his late grandfather leaves him, of all things, his allotment. What on earth would he want to do with an expanse of soil and neighbouring fuddy-duddy plot-holders? He discovers that these fuddy-duddies are quite a motley crew. Alex is disgruntled and bad-tempered with a chip on his shoulder. Petro and Yianni are friendly and helpful…and Yianni has a rather attractive daughter, Sophie, herself going through her own crisis. Then there’s the very mysterious, but oh so wise, reclusive Ben. Then there’s plot politics, jealousy, and skulduggery (oh yes, you can bet your sweet potato there is!).
But…and this is what Marcus was to discover…there was beauty, calm, tranquillity, satisfaction, and sheer joy. Joy from watching something grow to magnificence with patience and plenty of nurturing. Even the rampant, randy, and reckless Marcus becomes smitten.
Mournehis has put together a wonderful array of characters, skilfully portrayed and well defined. Marcus’ character was quite simply a masterpiece, poignantly contrasted by the enigmatic Ben. The author certainly knows a thing or two about growing luscious vegetables and fruit and expertly interlaces his experience (or if not, his impeccable research) into a rich and compelling story.
Don’t for one minute think that this is just a meandering story about human nature and runner beans. There are some smack-in-the-face shocks and twists that catch you unawares.
Classy and compelling. Do read this.