Cover image for The night gardener
The night gardener
Sandor, Marjorie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Lyons Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
206 pages ; 22 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3569.A5195 Z47 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This honest memoir, recounted in 20 essays, explores a passionate life of family, fishing, gardening, and storytelling.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Sandor, author of the award-winning short-story collection A Night of Music, is a smart and witty essayist. Here, in 20 linked, storylike memoirs, she teases out the truth about her parents' lives, muses on her own experiences as the mother of a daughter, and chronicles her journey from her childhood home in California to life with her husband in Boston, Florida, and Oregon. Nothing earthshaking occurs, yet a quiet suspense charges every page as Sandor's pluck and rebelliousness emerge. She remembers Uncle Maury, a close family friend, who shared his passion for literature with her, giving her books such as his favorite, Moby Dick. The reader will nod knowingly, thinking, yes, this is why she became a writer, until Sandor confesses that she set Melville aside to indulge her passion for romance novels. Several fresh, funny, and thoughtful essays, including "Waiting for a Miracle: A Jew Goes Fishing," chronicle her forays into the angler's realm, but it is gardening that evolves into the collection's central metaphor as she, like Eve, must leave paradise in pursuit of knowledge. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ranging from childhood reminiscences to her life after separating from her husband, Sandor, whose first collection of short stories (A Night of Music) won a Rona Jaffe Award for fiction, offers 20 finely observed and expressive personal essays. Of particular interest are the selections that deal with fly-fishing. While living in Florida with her husband and new baby, Sandor took up the hobby as an antidote to cabin fever. In "Attitude Creek," she describes the peacefulness that, for her, comes from solitude in the wilderness. After Sandor observed a dozen Hasidic Jews watching her fish in the Colorado River, she was compelled, because of her own Jewish ancestry, to research the relationship between Jews and fishing. "Waiting for a Miracle: A Jew Goes Fishing" is an informed and gently funny rumination on this connection. Since Sandor details how she and her husband moved with their young daughter to Oregon in a search for an ideal home that would satisfy their mutual love of nature, it comes as something of a shock when she recounts how, after three years, she moved out; she states only that she fell in love with someone else, and her husband asked her to leave. "Solomon's Blanket" is a poignant account of how the shared custody arrangement to which she and her husband agreed could not prevent their six-year-old daughter from grieving over their breach. Although some of the pieces are more engrossing than others, this is a thoughtful collection by a talented writer. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Sandor (A Night of Music) here assembles 20 short pieces about her life. They range from her early years in Southern California as the youngest child of four, through a number of fly-fishing outings and time spent teaching in Florida and Oregon, to life as a wife and then as a single parent. Her engaging style draws us into her predicaments, whether it is tolerating the ever-present Florida alligators or enduring judgments on her attempts at gardening. Throughout, she effectively conveys the force of memory as a determinant in one's choices; as she says when leaving Florida, "There's no separating the smells of our remembered places...finding a way into the next wilderness I hope to call home." Highly recommended for all libraries.ÄGina Kaiser, Univ. of the Sciences Lib. in Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.