Green Gold by Gabriel Hemery – Book Review



In 1850, young Scottish plant hunter John Jeffrey was despatched by an elite group of Victorian subscribers to seek highly-prized exotic trees in North America. An early letter home told of a 1,200-mile transcontinental journey by small boat and on foot.

Later, tantalising collections of seeds and plants arrived from British Columbia, Oregon and California, yet early promise soon withered. Four years after setting out, John Jeffrey, and his journals, disappeared without a trace.

Was he lost to love, violence or the Gold Rush? In this biography, Gabriel Hemery combines meticulous research with a fictional narrative in Jeffrey’s lost journals, revealing an extraordinary adventure


This is a slow burn of a read, something to take your time over and enjoy.

Told by using the journal (fictional) and letters to and from the explorer John Jeffrey, the author Gabriel Hemery takes you back to a time when botany explorers searched for natural plant treasures that the wealthy would flock to see, plants and seeds from distant lands.

These journals and letters were found by a woman during her internship and she realised the interest and importance of the documents and this is where the story begins, as she starts to read and piece together the life of John Jeffrey.

I loved the descriptive writing, bring the wildness of the environment to life, along with the love and tragedy that befell Mr Jeffrey. A real adventure in the written form. Marvellous.

I would like to thank the Pigeonhole and the author for the opportunity to read this book for free and this is my honest and unbiased review


Published by Unbound 18 April 2019

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