One Good Thing
A Living Memoir
“One Good Thing” is a delightful hybrid of creative non-fiction and memoir. Written in sixty-four epistolary sections, it represents a search for hope and appeasement in a rapidly changing world. It is also a book of homage to gardening columnist extraordinaire Helen Chesnut of the Victoria Times Colonist, as each section focusses and expands on a particular gardening column of hers. Using a familiar “Dear Helen” structure, almost every piece in One Good Thing relates to the original gardening article that gave rise to it while, at times, ranging into a myriad of other topics, including the author’s practice of creating art, personal and familial details, and comic riffs on a number of close-to-the-heart themes. The book focusses on finding personal “calm abidance” through the practice of gardening as mediated by the universal and personal practice of writing.