Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Review: The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

On the jacket:

Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice "until the monsoon comes." Then she can design a garden for herself.As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But the "Garden of Evening Mists" remains a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?


The Garden of Evening Mists is a book which has everything. It is a book which took me on a roller coaster ride of happiness, sadness, peace, turmoil and almost every imaginable emotion which touches a human heart and leaves a mark. And when the book ended, it left me wanting to cry my heart out. 

Talking about The Garden of Evening Mists and reviewing it seems futile as I truly would not be able to do justice to it. I have a feeling I would want to read this book again, and every time I would read it, I'd be enthralled with a different emotion at the end of it. I am pretty positive about this.

The book moves at a slow place, very descriptive. Don't let this persuade you to put the book down. Finish it, I urge you to finish it and witness the turmoil of emotions inside you. The book is narrated by a war survivor who will very soon not be able to communicate. She talks about the camp and her sister's death, the revenge of which she wants to take.

Rating: *****/5

[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.] 

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