?National Book Award nominee Beth Kephart’s new book is an enchanting midlife meditation on aging, identity, and memory set against the backdrop of Chanticleer garden in Pennsylvania.
On the morning of her forty-?rst birthday, Kephart — a mother, a wife, and a writer pressured by deadlines — finds herself at Chanticleer, one of the world’s most celebrated pleasure gardens. She knows little of the language of flowers. She cannot name the birds in the trees. She is a stranger among the gardeners and the people passing by. And yet she understands that she has somehow found her way to a place that can teach her about life and growth, about the past and the future. Week after week, she returns to Chanticleer — recalling her childhood self, mulling over legacy and soul, striking up friendships with gardeners and conversations with other visitors. Succored by the seasons and the weather, she finds the grace in approaching middle age. There are lessons in seeds, and she finds them. There are lessons in letting go.
Kephart writes about questions we all ask ourselves: How do we remember who we used to be? How do we imagine who we’ll become? Have we lived our lives as we set out to? What legacies do we wish to leave behind? The book spans a two-year cycle, and each chapter is accompanied by a gorgeous black-and-white photograph of Chanticleer by William Sulit. Ghosts in the Garden pulses with possibility and purpose, with wisdom that is ageless and transcendent.