Reviewed by Rae Nunan
What does a Japanese immigrant in a strange land do when she is left bereft and disoriented after her beloved husband of 32 years dies unexpectedly?
This heart-warming memoir describes how studying the world of mycology (mushrooms and fungi) brought joy and meaning into the author’s life when everything seemed impossibly bleak. By immersing herself in the sights and aromas of nature and then documenting her observations, she learned to develop discrimination and verbal precision. This then led to a host of rewarding friendships and a new identity for herself.
The variety of mushrooms that grow in Norway may be quite different to those growing in Australia, but the writer’s forthright and honest account of the two journeys she embarked on – the one training to become a certified mushroom inspector and the other negotiating the private passages of grief – provide an inspirational and enjoyable reading experience.