Search This Blog

Monday 29 July 2013

The Mulberry Tree by George Mournehis

What a lovely, lovely book. I really enjoyed this. I was sucked in from the first page and comfortably ensconced in the lives of allotmenteers for the duration of the whole book. Who would have thought such drama could occur in the company of cabbages, pumpkins, and tomatoes. I haven’t lived!

Marcus is...a hedonist. Actually, he’s an unscrupulous toad, who lets down his pregnant girlfriend so he can continue to pursue the pleasures of drugs, drink, and sex. So, he is just a little more than surprised when his late grandfather leaves him, of all things, his allotment. What on earth would he want to do with an expanse of soil and neighbouring fuddy-duddy plot-holders? He discovers that these fuddy-duddies are quite a motley crew. Alex is disgruntled and bad-tempered with a chip on his shoulder. Petro and Yianni are friendly and helpful…and Yianni has a rather attractive daughter, Sophie, herself going through her own crisis. Then there’s the very mysterious, but oh so wise, reclusive Ben. Then there’s plot politics, jealousy, and skulduggery (oh yes, you can bet your sweet potato there is!).

But…and this is what Marcus was to discover…there was beauty, calm, tranquillity, satisfaction, and sheer joy. Joy from watching something grow to magnificence with patience and plenty of nurturing. Even the rampant, randy, and reckless Marcus becomes smitten.

Mournehis has put together a wonderful array of characters, skilfully portrayed and well defined. Marcus’ character was quite simply a masterpiece, poignantly contrasted by the enigmatic Ben. The author certainly knows a thing or two about growing luscious vegetables and fruit and expertly interlaces his experience (or if not, his impeccable research) into a rich and compelling story. 

Don’t for one minute think that this is just a meandering story about human nature and runner beans.  There are some smack-in-the-face shocks and twists that catch you unawares.

Classy and compelling.  Do read this.


  1. Just ordered it - sounds really good. If I enjoy it as much as you clearly did I'll recommend it to my my friends who have alllotments.

  2. Just finished this.
    It's beautifully written and you get wrapped-up in the characters straight away.

  3. Loved this.
    Bought it on a recommendation and was a little sceptical of allotment/gardening theme, but it's not about gardening at all.
    The author's style of writing is elegant and has great clarity. Above all though, this book is about people. I cared about the characters enough to laugh and cry with them. I really hope this book does well. Would be great to see it in print on bookshelves....
    Excellent read. Look forward to more books by this author.