^FREE E-PUB ⇵ Rules for Visiting ⇶ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

A sweet book with gentle wisdom about friendships and solitude The protagonist is a shy, introverted botanist, so this will be especially enjoyable if you re attuned to plants and gardens I m not, but I still was happy to spend time with this character and follow her trajectory. Isn t every reading experience a visit to a character and the world they live in I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with May Attaway as she visits four of her friends Part of her journey is a scholarly and earnest pursuit to discover what it means to have and be a friend As May finds her answers, we are treated to a character and a story that are beautiful and quietly profound Consider this my thank you note. I adore quiet, intimate books Books that are not perhaps laden with action and mad cap adventures but are brimming with vitality all the same Because they breathe life Books like these get to the core of what it means to be human They have a beating heart and connect with the reader on a soulful level Rules for Visiting is one such book It is majestic in its simplicity and honesty It is a book that made me laugh, made me cry, it made me pause for thought to reflect on my own life and the friendships I have made in my life May, the narrator and main character, is in mid way through her fortieth year and single She lives with her father since the death of her mother and is a quiet sort of person Somewhat detached from the rest of the everyday world She is given some time off from the university where she works she is involved in gardening and horticulture there And with her time off she decides, much like an old Austen classic, to visit with some of her lifelong friends and spend time in their homes And from there the book just unfurls in this most organic of manners It s never rushed, but also never too slow It simply flows along to its own gentle rhythms.I feel nourished after this reading experience It s probably a strange way to describe how one feels after reading a book but this book Oh it was just a salve to my soul and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who loves quiet and thoughtful reads Four and a half stars rounded up to fiveAn e copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Granta Publications, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review The library notified me that this book was being held for me on the same day that I finished Overstory, an intense novel about trees and forests and their importance in our world I knew I would need to follow that one with a soothing read, which this one was supposed to be, so I dutifully went across the street to pick it up I started right in and realized that this was just what I needed.What I didn t realize was how much I would love this story and the character of May Attaway May is an unmarried 40 year old botanist at the local university, living with her 80 year old father in her childhood home She has few friends, and when she is awarded extra leave time from her job, she decides to visit 4 of them, all living in distant cities Nice, simple plot.But surprise, surprise May has a wonderful, understated sense of humor, she loves to read, she loves trees.trees , and is always appreciative of a nice cocktail or glass of wine The pages are stuffed with literary references and quotes and anecdotes of authors Ditto the myth and lore of trees, famous ones and everyday ones, plus beautiful pen and ink drawings of a few of them All interspersed in the most natural way with the heartbreakingly beautiful story of May s year of visiting.My favorite books in the world are these types of interior dialogue stories, where most of the action and change take place in the soul of one person I know they re not for those who require action, but I know a couple of fellow readers who will love this just as much as I do Recommendation coming their way.I didn t think this would be a 5 star read, but I was wrong The quotation from Wendell Berry near the end of the book was the icing on the cake It not only goes on my favorites shelf, but I ll take this one back to the library, then go out and buy another one for my bookcase I loved it that much I hate to leave May s story, but I trust that the rest of it will work out just fine. Someone recommended this novel to me, so I picked it up and am glad I did all about a woman who realizes she s lonely and decides to reconnect with old friends Plus trees Trees really seem to be having a moment, don t they I ve been thinking a lot about the role of friendship in my life lately in large part thanks to this book Jessica Francis Kane has crafted a beautifully subtle and surprisingly funny exploration of how we cope with grief over the long haul Friendship, it turns out, is the key, but so too is a powerful connection to the natural world The premise here is pretty clever May Attaway is a gardener at a local university A yew tree she planted years back has inspired an award winning poem by one of the university s professors To reward her for her part in creating the atmosphere that allowed the university to secure this prestigious honor, her superiors grant her a month of vacation May choses to use the time to visit old friends she s lost touch with What follows is a story of picking up where one left off, reckoning with the past, and embracing the new possibilities life presents us with all the time if we re willing to see them.I think my favorite part had to be the quiet, wry voice at the center of this book May is a self acknowledged unreliable narrator, but she s neither evasive nor abusive You get the sense that she s doing the best she can and being as open and honest as she can muster Her love for plant and tree life fills these pages like a spring bloom Delightful sketches of trees introduce each section and plant and tree names are always followed by their Latin names in parentheses May even speaks them aloud in dialogue Braided throughout is the story of the once well tended but now neglected Attaway clan It s not hard to see that May s love for the natural world and the care with which she tends it is an extended metaphor for the way she has withdrawn from family and friends.Unlike anything I ve read before, Kane s restrained, evocative prose draws the reader into the private world of her protagonist, allowing the characters and the plot to unfold on the page with the natural pace and beauty of a rare bloom Highly recommended If you liked this, make sure to follow me on Goodreads for reviews Jessica Francis Kane s book, Rules for Visiting grows on you Much like the trees and grass spoken about in the book Much like how they are an intrinsic part of the book, as the protagonist is a gardener May Attaway, is a 40 year old gardener who lives in her parents home with her father, an 80 year old man inhabiting the basement his own accord May s mother died when she was 40 and this kicks off May s choice to change some things about her life The primary one being to go and visit four of her women friends, with whom she has lost touch.Thank God that this book isn t one about intimacy of women that will give you the warm cuddly feeling It is an honest book about honest relationships, and how they are in life twisted, damaged, complicated, and yet the kind that leave space for repair.Her friends lives are something else altogether one of them is going through a divorce quite expected , another is a new wife and a stepmother to two boys, and as the book progresses you see how May changes as a person not altogether but in small ways Kane s May is flawed and knows it She is aware, and tries not to be a bother when visiting her friends The rules for visiting comes from there it also signifies how we have to make our spaces without it being an intrusion in homes we visit Rules for Visiting is hilarious, often a lot of fun, and also has a lot of twists and turns to it that are touching and ironic as well The book is about friendship what we take for granted and let go for years, and what we come back to And then it connects to the environment beautifully with descriptions of trees, and what they stand for when it comes to life and living.Also, the character of May that tries very hard to be reliable, but is sometimes just taken in by what she sees around her I loved the fact that she was so human Rules for Visiting is about the lost art of friendship and what it takes in our world clogged and bogged down by social media to rekindle it, to get in touch without any guilt or fear, and ensure that relationships last beyond just a screen Rules for Visiting is the kind of book that perhaps most people will relate to instantly A must read, in my opinion. a contemplative, internal story about a woman who is most at home in her work, as a gardener on a university campus her world is small, and revolves around regularly scheduled activities work, home, a local restaurant may lives in her childhood home with her widowed father a professor at the same university where may works theirs is a quiet existence, yet there is the hint of tension just below the surface realizing how small she s been living, may reconnects with four friends she has not seen in years, and makes plans to visit each in person her visits are a studied exercise on the notion of friendship, and may is particularly interested in how her friends think of her, and remember her from past years may is trying to grow, i think, and perhaps overcome some of her awkwardness or quirks as Moby Dick or, the Whale has the whale parts, and Les Mis rables has the sewer parts, rules for visiting has tree parts i found these interludes interesting generally, anything nature natural world will grab my attention , but did recognize some readers may tune out at these parts.the only criticism i have and it s pretty small is that i would have welcomed a bit of may s internal dialogue and thoughts, as well as seeing glimpses of changes in may in a world that is now so dependent on technology, this story about human connection is touching. Thank you to the publisher Penguin Press for providing an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.May Attaway is forty, single, childless, and still living at home with her widowed father She s a graduate of the Landscape Architecture program at her local university Landscape architects design harmonious natural plantings to augment a campus, parking lot, playground,or other public terrain Once she graduated from the program she took a job at the university with the grounds crew If you are a gardening enthusiast I m not you will probably love this book Talk of numerous trees, flowers, bushes and gardening tips pollinate each chapter liberally like overgrown vines on a building There are also lovely drawings of various trees throughout the book May plants a yew tree on university grounds taken from a cutting she procured from a legendary 3,000 old tree in a Scottish churchyard A poet in the English Department was inspired to write a poem about it and won a 50,000 prize In turn, the university recognized May for instigating and executing the planting of this tree which resulted in publicity for the school Her prize was a generous amount of paid time off which she used to visit four longtime friends.May really isn t the visiting type She also never has people over to her own house Her mother died years ago under mysterious circumstances that are not revealed until the very end of the book Mom kind of checked out of life at a certain point and took refuge in her bedroom May s brother went to college out in California and decided to stay there He hasn t been home in years She s aware of her neighbors but for the most part keeps them at arm s length Her father is much neighborly, often gifting neighbors with flowers and plants May is invited to a going away party on her block for a couple looking to downsize after their kids moved out of the nest She notices that her name is included on an engraved silver platter that was gifted to this couple from their friends She also notices that there are many references and sayings about friends on various decorations in the kitchen It s as if this idea of friends is suddenly swarming around her and she s inspired to use that gift of time off from work to visit each of her four friends.May is just a tad socially awkward and thinks of cliches to respond to conversations she s lured into All her friends moved away, and most were married with children It sort of feels like she s the outlier, the square peg, still living at home, unmarried, no children Her travels take her to locales such as New York, London and Scotland Never having a guest over herself, May learns the social graces of visiting when presented with her guest rooms, dealing with children and gift giving It s interesting watching how other people live their lives who have taken a different path I think the most enlightening takeaway from this book is how May wished her friends would just let her be part of a normal day in their lives rather than their taking special pains to visit a flower show or special restaurant I actually identified with this character a bit, except for the gardening passion, of course I also enjoyed the quiet and simple nature of the writing and story There is an unexplained detachment I felt while reading this book, almost like I was looking through a cloudy window As I peruse other reviews for this book, they seem to be in the 4 5 star range I was really surprised by this, so I must be an outlier For me it was a good book, but not great As May says in the beginning of the book, I read books, but not always the best ones. ^FREE E-PUB ⇧ Rules for Visiting ☘ A Beautifully Observed And Deeply Funny Novel Of May Attaway, A University Gardener Who Sets Out On An Odyssey To Reconnect With Four Old Friends Over The Course Of A Year At Forty, May Attaway Is At Home With Plants Than People Over The Years, She S Turned Inward, Finding Pleasure In Language, Her Work As A Gardener, And Keeping Her Neighbors At Arm S Length While Keenly Observing Them But When She Is Unexpectedly Granted Some Leave From Her Job, May Is Inspired To Reconnect With Four Once Close Friends She Knows They Will Never Have A Proper Reunion, So She Goes, One By One, To Each Of Them A Student Of The Classics, May Considers Her Journey A Female Odyssey What Might The World Have Had If, Instead Of Waiting, Penelope Had Set Out On An Adventure Of Her Own RULES FOR VISITING Is A Woman S Exploration Of Friendship In The Digital Age Deeply Alert To The Nobility And The Ridiculousness Of Ordinary People, May Savors The Pleasures Along The Way Afternoon Ice Cream With A Long Lost Friend, Surprise Postcards From An Unexpected Crush, And A Moving Encounter With Ancient Beauty Though She Gets A Taste Of Viral Online Fame, May Chooses To Bypass Her Friends Perfectly Cultivated Online Lives To Instead Meet Them In Their Messy Analog OnesUltimately, May Learns That A Best Friend Is Someone Who Knows Your Story And She Inspires Us All To Master The Art Of Visiting