Heather Lende’s memoir, Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs, is full of heavy material and well thought-out wisdom. The book, however, never comes across as instructional or falsified, as Lende does an excellent job of bringing the reader right into her personal thoughts and daily life. Lende’s story is unique; she is a resident of the tiny town of Haines, Alaska and its’ strong community. She is active in her life and her surroundings; her conversations in the book with others and her powerful insights into life really reflect the size of her large heart and her even greater strength.
Lende was run over by a truck – driven by someone she knew – shortly before she was to embark on a book tour. The incident and ensuing recovery acted as both a huge challenge and inspiration to her. Instead of pitying herself or succumbing to her injuries, Lende fought on and tried passionately to have her former life restored. Her strength and her faith most likely made this possible. The focus of the memoir is not only on Lende, but also on her relationships with her family, friends, and neighbors. Her faith is also showcased since it helped her not only overcome obstacles but also enabled her to grow as a person.
The devoutness she showcases does not overshadow her story or her message. A non-religious reader should not find this book preachy or overbearing and may even find inspiration in the quotes she includes and her exclamations of faith throughout. Much of it can be interpreted at will; Lende is not pushing her beliefs on anyone.
Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs is an uplifting and excellent memoir told by a brilliant story teller, Lende, who will most likely remind you of the strongest woman in your life. The memoir is definitely told by an author who would listen to the world’s woes and the world would eagerly await her reply.
Lauren Kirk is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.com.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by FSB Associates. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.