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Evelio’s Garden, by Sandra Shaw Homer

Evelio’s Garden is a lyrical meditation on cultural values, friendship, aging, loss, and, ultimately, the healing power of the natural world.

“The conversational prose is rich in detail about the wide variety of trees, flowers, fruits, and vegetables that blanket the area, and there are some wonderful stories about various wildlife that Homer has encountered. . . .A remembrance that effectively captures one woman’s connection with nature in Central America”
— Kirkus Reviews

In the enchanting world of the of Costa Rican highlands, the author begins a memoir, tracing the seasons and closely observing the natural riches around her. But Evelio, who helped build their house, interrupts with an idea to plant an organic garden on their property. Over the course of a challenging year full of unpredictable weather, wild animals and toxic chemicals, their friendship grows as Evelio teaches her about the rural sustainability of Costa Rica in decades past. Pulling her into the daily ups and downs of his project, he creates an often funny, always frustrating, and ultimately rewarding counterpoint to her own work, such that the two intertwine on the page…and lead her to confront a difficult past and open up to profound personal change.

Sandra Shaw Homer has lived in Costa Rica for 29 years, where she has taught languages and worked as an interpreter/translator and environmental activist. In addition to a column in the local press, her creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry have appeared in a variety of print and online literary and travel journals, as well as on her own blog, Her travel memoir, Letters from the Pacific: 49 Days on a Cargo Ship, received excellent Kirkus and Publishers Weekly reviews. Go to
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