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14 Reviews
5 star:
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4 star:
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't even garden
I had read a review of her book in the NYTimes and am a fan of the magazine she edits, so I bought the book. I fell in love with the story of collapse, confusion and renewal. Frankly the metaphor of the garden served as many a problem in one's own life. Wrap it all up in gorgeous prose and a compelling (yes! she makes a garden wall collapse and the ensuing drama...
Published on February 26, 2004

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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry but a little too cutesy for me....
This is a true story about the author's life and landscaping a lovely homestead in Weschester Co., NY. Ms. Browning can turn a pretty phrase and she certainly did a lot with her property. I don't know...parts were just too precious: her boyfriend throughout is the True Love; yes, 230 pages of that. The contractors who did the actual work were the Helpful Men. A little...
Published on July 4, 2005 by Amazon Shopper


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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't even garden, February 26, 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: Paths of Desire: The Passions of a Suburban Gardener (Hardcover)
I had read a review of her book in the NYTimes and am a fan of the magazine she edits, so I bought the book. I fell in love with the story of collapse, confusion and renewal. Frankly the metaphor of the garden served as many a problem in one's own life. Wrap it all up in gorgeous prose and a compelling (yes! she makes a garden wall collapse and the ensuing drama exciting!) story and I had a book , I couldn't put down. Romantic and sometimes funny it's a good read for the gardener and non-gardener alike.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly delightful, February 18, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Paths of Desire: The Passions of a Suburban Gardener (Hardcover)
Delightful and informative. The perfect book to start reading now, as the weather starts to improve and we begin to think about the gardening work awaiting us. Dominique Browning inspired me to indulge my dreams of working in my yard. Having finished the book, I've moved on to poring over seed and nursery catalogs, just like Browning herself. The perfect remedy to the gray of late winter. I now feel as if spring is right around the corner. And there's so much to do!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, February 18, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Paths of Desire: The Passions of a Suburban Gardener (Hardcover)
Sure, there's some great gardening advice in here, but mostly it's a charming story. The neighbors, the kids, the fix-it men, the romantic crush. I got sucked right in. You're bound to recognize your own plot of land, as well as your own suburban existence. And Dominique Browning is a gorgeous writer, with a great sense of humor. You don't need to know a thing about gardening to enjoy this terrific book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration for Suburban Transplants, April 25, 2005
This review is from: Paths of Desire: The Passions of a Suburban Gardener (Hardcover)
As a recent transplant to suburbia and a novice gardener, I found comfort and inspiration in Browning's memoir. Her depictions of her garden-in-progress are fascinating. At times her garden seems enchanted, barely controllable, taking on a life of its own. (Especially that wisteria! I'm now warily eyeing my own twig of wisteria, which is sending out a few ominous shoots). Browning finds the extraordinary just steps away from her door. Passages about a simple pathway or a stand of trees are mesmerizing to read about. I was reminded of growing up in suburbia and finding wonder and mystery in yards that today -- or at least before reading "Paths of Desire" -- I might view as unremarkable. Browning has helped me rediscover some of that sense of wonder in the suburban landscape, and I no longer lament my retreat from the city. Her book has shown me how my own yard is a canvas filled with possibility, and yet to some degree it will always elude my control -- an idea that fascinates me even more.

Browning's prose style -- at times restrained, at other times lyrical, and often shot through with whimsy -- is as lovely as her garden.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Living with a garden in suburbia, June 22, 2007
By 
This book had me from the start, when Dominique describes how an old retaining wall collapses in her yard, floods the area and destroys many of her shrubs and flowers. The ensuing work afterwards is this book, as she goes from grief over the collapse (which she compares to her divorce) to acceptance and then renewal (as with her boyfriend TrueLove). While she has the wall rebuilt, she reflects on incidents with her former husband and children in the house, and especially the garden, and how over the years she still holds on to all the memories, even as certain trees are diagnosed with deadly diseases.

This small garden, filled with raccoons, oppossums, birds and wayyward teens is the story of life in suburbia. Stubborn neighbors, messy neighbors, nosy neighbors and helpful neighbors are all part of the deal of living in suburbia. The trees and flowers are just flavorings. But then there are memories of the growing boys, former pets, old trees, dying trees, annoying rusty old vehicles from the neighbors, and menacing trees hanging over from the obstinate neighbors. What homeowner hasn't had to deal with any of this?

This book is a delight even for the non-gardener. It's a perfect gift for the avid gardener who's been tending to the same garden for many years.
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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry but a little too cutesy for me...., July 4, 2005
This is a true story about the author's life and landscaping a lovely homestead in Weschester Co., NY. Ms. Browning can turn a pretty phrase and she certainly did a lot with her property. I don't know...parts were just too precious: her boyfriend throughout is the True Love; yes, 230 pages of that. The contractors who did the actual work were the Helpful Men. A little on the condescending side, for my taste. On and on through many other cutesy titles and Capitalized Names...Oh Dear! Line drawings are very well done and highlight the text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great to read and reread, January 20, 2011
By 
reading teacher (SC United States) - See all my reviews
I loved this book. I have had it for a while now and have read it through twice and enjoyed it both times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful read by Dominique Browning!, July 5, 2010
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Absolutely loved her new book - SLOW LOVE, and read this after that. She has a special way of writing. Her love for her home and garden and family is so evident. Thank you. Keep writing please.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paths of Desire: The Passions of a Suburban Gardener, May 3, 2009
Dominique Browning is an accomplished writer who pulls you into her world - a world that is not always wonderful - a world with not-so-nice neighbors, recalcitrant trees and stone walls that come tumbling down with no warning. Her writing is poetic and you feel that she is a friend sharing her experiences in her garden and in her life. I have never read anything by her but based on this book, I ordered three more books written by her.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, August 16, 2014
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This review is from: Paths of Desire: The Passions of a Suburban Gardener (Hardcover)
It's an okay book but could have been more specific regarding plants, etc.
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Paths of Desire: The Passions of a Suburban Gardener
Paths of Desire: The Passions of a Suburban Gardener by Dominique Browning (Hardcover - February 3, 2004)
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