Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS – NO. 9: Through the Garden A Love Story (with Cats)


 BOOK REVIEWS – NO. 9: Through the Garden A Love Story (with Cats)

Often referred to as one of Canada’s powerhouse literary couples, Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane met at a poetry workshop in 1976, an event Crozier describes as “akin to nuclear fusion – I was passion’s ad agent.”

Tumultuous from the beginning, Crozier and Lane’s love affair, (both abandoned their marriages to be with each other), was a double-edge sword, one that was full of passion and frenzy. There were the walking out on each other incidences; the comings back together; the creation of poems and writing rooms shared, (a total of 40 books, immersed in lyrical, magical, and emotional outpourings were written between the couple); the handful of beloved cats; and the bountiful gardens that flourished under the couple’s artistic spirits.

Life on the edge, however, was not all roses and teacups and Crozier talks openly and poignantly of these times, including the jealousies and the demons of Patrick’s addiction. During Lane’s downward spiral dance with alcohol, Crozier says it was necessary for her “to walk on eggshells, eggshells with sharp edges, egg shells made of brittle glass.”

For Lane, “booze was his inspiration; it swung open the gate to poetry’s truths and insight, its linguistic dazzle and daring.”

As life evolves, the couple achieve both literary success and a sense of peace and calm. And as a part of that journey, in Through the Garden, Crozier, true to her unabashed honesty, tackles the physical restraints that aging has visited upon her body without a modicum of restraint or hyperbole. She does not shy away from these hard uncomfortable issues, and in fact gives a straight up account of the reality of, it is what it is.

“Less acrobatic than we used to be, our flesh saggy and worn, we made love a couple of times a week.”

Crozier Lorna c Elfrida SchragenPhoto credit: Elfrida Schragen

Tragically, that lovemaking was interrupted when Lane fell ill with an undiagnosed, highly disabling condition, one which was propped up by the ‘cardboard crutch” of steroids. 

By the time I’d finished reading Through the Garden, a language of the heart recounting of the couple’s lives that brought me to the base level of seeing, feeling, visualizing and imagining, I’d developed a keen interest in familiarizing myself more with both Crozier’s and Lane’s works.

And to know more too about their celebrated cats, Basho and Po Chu.

It is with genuine pleasure that I have come to know of both Crozier’s and Lane’s work. And as Jen of Art Your Service and I look forward to chatting with the author and poet at the June 24th, (2021),  Creative Aging Books & Ideas Free Virtual Book Event, my one regret is that I did not get the opportunity to meet Lane before he passed away in March of 2019.

Cece is the feature cover writer for several prestigious publications both in print and online, and an informed, connected and enthusiastic book blogger at Her first book, The Love Story, was published in 2019. Her books, “Nunzio Tumino: A Pocketful of Dreams: An Immigrant’s Journey,” and “Helping People One Hand At A Time” are both available on
Cece is also working on a book of Daily Inspirations, “My Body Parts Are On Recall But I’ve Still Got Gas in my Tank,” for AutoImmune Warriors.

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Creative Aging Books & Ideas presents an award-winning collection of authors this Spring.

                                               Thursday, April 25 at 2 p.m.

Marina Sonkina, author of “Ukrainian Portraits: Diaries from the Border;”  will be reading from her new book. You can read my review here:

Cece reviews: Ukrainian Portraits: Diaries from the Border –

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                                       And, on Thursday, May 30, 2 p.m.

Canada’s own mystery maestro, William Deverell, will be reading from his new book, “The Long-Shot Trial.”

Sign up for these spectacular interactive author events here:

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3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEWS – NO. 9: Through the Garden A Love Story (with Cats)

  1. Shelley says:

    How wonderful. I must try to get myself a copy of Through The Garden and will most definitely seek out more of Lorna’s and Patricks’s works. Hope to tune in to the Zoom meeting with Lorna on Thursday. Thank you

  2. Shoshana Tyson says:

    Looking forward to the reading through Art Your Service

  3. Jo-Anne Herbeck says:

    This sounds like a book I’d like to read. Looking forward to your talk tomorrow.
    I did read “Last Impressions” & enjoyed it.
    Thanks so much for your reviews.

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