Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

The Rain Tree

by Mirabel Osler

eBooks of the Month Home & Garden

LoveReading View on The Rain Tree

I’ve hijacked this book for the Gardening section as I couldn’t bear to miss Mirabel Osler’s new book. She starts and ends with gardens and throughout plants, trees, fragrance and gardens are much in evidence so I feel I am somewhat justified. She is looking back on life, sorting through accumulations of letters, diaries and photographs with that sadness that comes from knowing that one day who will know that person in the photograph, their story and history. We are introduced to places and people, her beloved husband Michael who sadly died just before her classic A Gentle Plea for Chaos was originally published, her children, her friends, the places where she has lived – and loved. A jewel of a book.

Like for Like Reading
A Little History of British Gardening, Jenny Uglow
A Gentle Plea for Chaos, Mirabel Osler

Sue Baker

The Rain Tree Synopsis

A host of vividly caught characters are here: Mirabel's extrovert, free-spirited mother Phyllis; Aylmer Vallance, who with extraordinary love letters would rescue her mother from a twilight life; Stella Bowen, Phyllis' lifelong friend and fellow student under Ezra Pound, their introduction to the London literati, notably Ford Madox Ford. Throughout Mirabel's childhood, it was Stella who would be the one fast colour amid her mercurial mother's love affairs. And turning closer to the present - to new friendships, the paring away of previous assumptions and conventions and the serendipities of chance acquaintance - we encounter Michael, Mirabel's late husband, who's barbaric public-school childhood contrasted so dramatically with Mirabel's own, affectionate and carefree; whose repressed father so adored roses; their childhood meeting; their delight in their children and beloved Shropshire garden, a character in its own right, full of the joy of the unexpected.

The Rain Tree Press Reviews

'A wonderful book ... generous with excitement and adventures and love. Reading it, I felt glad to be alive'
Xandra Bingley, author of Bertie, May and Mrs Fish

'Quirky, touching, wayward, sensuous ... An unforgettable journey of the senses. Irresistible'
Sir Roy Strong


Praise for A Gentle Plea for Chaos:

'The most original book of the year, and the most deliciously written'
Daily Telegraph

'Mirabel Osler's confiding attractive voice vividly conveys the full, heady experience of gardens and gardening. By the end of her book you will be convinced that the only things that matter in life are gardens and relationships - not necessarily in that order'
Sunday Telegraph

If you loved this, you might like these...

The Tropical Hothouse (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)
Cordially Invited: a seasonal guide to celebrations and hosting, packed full of advice, recipes, decorations and personal stories
RHS Gardening Through the Year Month-by-month Planning Instructions and Inspiration
At Home with Plants

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781408815489
Publication date: 16/05/2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408815489
Publication date: 16th May 2011
Author: Mirabel Osler
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback
Genres: eBook Favourites, Home & Garden,

About Mirabel Osler

Mirabel Osler is the critically acclaimed author of A Breath from Elsewhere and the classic A Gentle Plea for Chaos. She lives in Shropshire.

More About Mirabel Osler

Share this book