The Greenhouse by Audur Ava Olafsdottir

A Bookish Observation

The Greenhouse by Audur Ava OlafsdottirI nearly gave up believing that I’d find a book as enjoyable as a cozy mystery. And then I started reading “The Greenhouse“.

My reading of this book began badly because I listened to the first chapter via an audiobook at a time when I was constantly distracting myself with trawling LitBogger RSS Feeds for new titles. You know how it is, the grass is always greener … My focus was fractured.

I gave up and transferred the book from  my GoodReads Reading-List back to my GoodReads To-Be-Read-List, I forgot about it for a while. Fortunately the internet LitBloggers kept referring to “The Greenhouse” as an excellent book. Over time and after stopping and starting with other books I began to realise reading the text compared to listening to the audiobook worked better for some books more than others. So, I had another look at the book blurb for “The Greenhouse”, gave it another go by reloading it to my Kindle, and what do you know, magic happened.  As I progressed into the book I started to find beauty. I call it magic when I read words that I want to hold forever. When this happens I find my dip-nib pen, a bottle of ink and painstakingly write out the beautiful words.

Here’s a snippet of the beauty I found: “I glance around and there’s no one around. I squeeze through the door where I follow a maze of corridors and twisted passageways until I reach another door. I open it and suddenly find myself in a large church, the stone gives off a cold, moist smell and an enormous space opens up before me, an entire vault of coloured lights that makes me gasp and remove my hood. It’s like stepping through the narrow mouth of a cave and discovering an entire palace of stalactite and Iceland spa.” p120

How beautiful! I think this book will become one of my favourites.

Much of this book is about the minutiae of daily life, beautifully written. Comparatively speaking, I’m not interested in Jane Austen’s minutiae but I find The Greenhouse minutiae absolutely beautiful, possibly because I can relate to the human interaction in The Greenhouse which is of my time but not in Jane Austen’s books which is not.

This book is a quite different, beautiful and worth a nice slow read, savouring the words and the story.


This blog was written by Diane Challenor, 2013

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