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Book Review – The Garden of the Gods by Gerald Durrell

Synopsis:  The enchanted island of Corfu was home to Gerald Durrell and his family for five years before the Second World War. For the passionate young zoologist, Corfu was a natural paradise, teeming with strange birds and beasts that he could collect, watch and care for. But life was not without its problems – Gerald’s family often objected to his animal-collecting activities, especially when the beasts wound up in the family’s villa or even worse – the fridge.

First Line:  “That summer was a particularly rich one; it seemed as if the sun had drawn up a special bounty from the island for never had we had such an abundance of fruit and flowers.”

Random Quote:  “The old salt-pans lay along the edge of the brackish lake, forming a giant chess-board with the cross-hatching of these placid canals, some as narrow as a chair, some thirty feet wide.  Most of these waterways were only a couple of feet deep but below the water lay an almost unplumbable depth of fine black silt.”


Durrell in his final years, with Cottontop TamarinGerald Durrell in his later years with a cottontop tamarind – Image via Wikipedia

Review:  This is the finish to the trilogy of books Durrell wrote about growing up on Corfu.  I love all three books for their combination of family memoir and natural history.  Durrell writes well and these books are very funny so beware of reading them on public transportation!

These books delighted me as a middle-school aged kid when I read them before and they are just as delightful now as I aspire to adulthood.  Some day I will at least visit Corfu, but my true fantasy is to find a strawberry pink villa there in which to retire in splendor.

Reading Challenges:  Decades 2010, 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, 2010 A to Z Reading Challenge, Typically British Reading Challenge 2010

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