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Leslie Buck's account of her apprenticeship in Japan fascinated and challenged me. Her vision to live and work in another country, and to be trained in a discipline in which she was already accomplished, took humility, grace and courage. This narrative captured me. Leslie, like one of her trees, was nurtured, shaped, and at times shocked by the pruning of her personal journey. In Cutting Back she applies the principles of pruning to her own life which is the mark of a disciple, and shares them with us, which is the mark of a teacher. This book is an immersion in another culture and an account of personal relationships
that frame this very intimate story. If other cultures interest you, you will be fascinated by this book. If you hunger for a story of personal growth and persevering through adversity, read Cutting Back. If you are a gardener and want insights on the art of pruning in the Japanese tradition, you will be enriched. I just loved this story!!!!!!
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This should have been an easy book for me to enjoy. I am really interested in Japanese culture. I enjoy gardening. This should have been a win/win situation. However I really struggled with the narrator Caroline McLaughlin. I stopped listening to the book about 40 mins in or so because the narration was not very good. Pros: she has a good voice. Con: She needs to work on her style of narration. The way she talked made me feel like a newscaster was reading the story. That's the best way I can explain it. I totally understand that narration is difficult, and I hope she improves as she hones her skill.