Book Review: Rhubarb Rhubarb by Mary Jane Paterson and Jo Thompson

I am a bit of a sucker for books that are correspondence books.  Letters from one person to another are somehow incredibly appealing.  I saw that this book Rhubarb Rhubarb was being crowdfunded through Unbound and it sounded so interesting I decided to support it.  I have bought this book, no one has asked me to review it but like that is going to stop me.
The book is a series of letters between the cook, Mary Jane Peterson and the gardener, Jo Thompson.  Though calling a Leith trained cook and an award winning garden designer 'cook' and 'gardener' seems to be under-describing.  The simplicity of the titles reflect the simplicity and charm of the book.  It is a total delight : the letters give insight into the intersecting worlds of Mary and Jo.  They talk and swap gardening tips and recipes in an easy effortless way.  The lemon and almond cake on page 9 is high on my list of must bakes.  There is a bulb top ten (not a recipe, for planting I hasten to clarify) and a 1970s curry which I loved the description of and made me think of the currys that we ate back in the day.  I laughed out loud at the coffee-morning discussion, and the Instagardens and Instasupper chapter is just pure gold.

The book is illustrated by Laura Jazwinski and her illustrations weave perfectly through the text.  I think I smiled all the way through reading the book and know that I will be dipping in and out of it for years to come.  It is a book for the times we live in: a good read with good information and charm effortlessly falling from every page.  There is nothing hopeless about the gardener or cook referred to on the book cover, this is a book to give us all hope.

Rhubarb Rhubard is published by Unbound and retails for around £19.99 from shops that sell books.


  1. Sounds like a good book, gardening and cooking at once. What you plant, later becomes your supply in the kitchen. Great idea to do it this way, appreciate. Godbless.


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