A beautifully written, haunting memoir, ‘Plot 29’ is a mystery story and a meditation on nature and nurture. It’s also a celebration of the joy to be found in sharing food and flowers with people you love.
As young boys in 1960s Plymouth, Allan Jenkins and his brother, Christopher, were rescued from their care home and fostered by an elderly couple. There, the brothers started to grow flowers in their riverside cottage. They found a new life with their new mum and dad.
As Allan grew older, his foster parents were never quite able to provide the family he and his brother needed, but the solace he found in tending a small London allotment echoed the childhood moments when he grew nasturtiums from seed.
Over the course of a year, Allan digs deeper into his past, seeking to learn more about his absent parents. Examining the truths and untruths that he’d been told, he discovers the secrets to why the two boys were in care. What emerges is a vivid portrait of the violence and neglect that lay at the heart of his family.
“‘Plot 29’ is a superbly written testament to the power of earth to nourish and heal. The writing is taut and honed to a sinewy strength, but rich with evocation and delight… I loved it.”
“The sort of book you never forget reading: devastating, haunting and utterly beautiful.”
“A brilliant and brave book about the psychology of gardening.”