A different kind of
(And now a play)
Now available as an ebook
from Amazon or Kobo
Brings new meaning to
Riley, a semi-retired, unmarried bureaucrat
with too much time on his hands lives beside
new neighbour Cynthia, an assertive
ex-sportswriter with a new-found love of
They meet under unfortunate
circumstances—unfortunate for Riley because
he just happens to be helping himself to a
few perennials from Cynthia's backyard when
she arrives to take possession of her new
home. Riley would never actually steal
anything, he just takes advantage of
opportunities. But it's too late, his
reputation is soiled and in his bumbling way
must strive to restore it.
Although both Cynthia and Riley share a
passion for gardening, their competitive
natures cause their developing relationship
to blossom and shrivel, as their repressed
emotions heat up slowly like a well made
The East Coast Gardener
Review by Carla Allen
"It's easy to find a "How-to" book on
gardening; there are thousands of them out
there, all containing helpful information
for a variety of purposes. Unless you
possess a highly retentive memory, these
weighty volumes must be referred to time and
time again. It's a refreshing change when
one discovers a gardening book that
concentrates not on the mechanics of this
subject, but rather provides an enjoyably
light and comical view through the actions
of its characters.
In Soiled Reputations, David Hobson
introduces us to the "Tim the Toolman
Taylor" of the gardening world. Meet Riley,
a bumbling, sometimes conniving neighbour to
Cynthia. Both are passionate gardeners with
a well rooted sense of competition.
Over the garden gate, actually more often
than not, through the garden fence, Riley
finds himself in one misadventure after
another as he tries to keep pace with
Cynthia's grand plans for the garden.
Throughout the book, Riley has to deal with
a persistent pest -- Cynthia's 12 year old
A large percentage of Soiled Reputations is
dialogue, a literary challenge that Hobson
has handled very well. He portrays the
emotions of both characters and the humour
of each situation repeatedly, whether it be
the battle of the big pumpkins, the
hydroponics fiasco or the grand garden
Each of the ten chapters highlights
situations which gardeners will find
familiar; however the outcome of each is
decidedly unconventional. Through it all,
the relationship between Cynthia and Riley
experiences spurts and setbacks. In the last
chapter, my personal favourite, several
scenes are described in hilarious
Surely the shared experiences of reciprocal
wheelbarrow rides will cement the fragile
bonds of this friendship and we can expect
more escapades? Hobson prefers to leave the
hole in the fence for that possibility".
Donna Dawson, publisher, ICanGarden
"A delightful read. Even though it's
fiction, it could be true".
Shirley Crowe BC,
"Got it. Read it. Loved
it. You REALLY made me
laugh. Abashedly I confess
to recognizing my own thoughts on
Thanks for making a dreary winter day
sparkle with mirthful sunshine."
"I loved it. It was a hoot."
Jane D. . .
"I really enjoyed it."
Lynne. . .
"I almost fell out of my chair I
laughed so hard"
Anne S . . .
"A wickedly funny book!"
Judy B. . .
"You'll never look at another garden
gnome or think about a slug without a
good laugh after reading this humorous
Ines M. . .
"Enjoying your book immensely -- getting
strange stares from my non-gardening
husband as I read, (maybe I'm
L.O.L.) I finished last night, and will
be passing it on to friends to read."