The next book on my list to read was ‘Garden of Evening Mists’ by Tan Twan Eng. A brief (if I can be) premise of the book: It is after World War Two and a young Malaysian woman who has been involved in the Japanese war trials and still suffering the aftermath of the concentration camps arrives to the cloud drenched lands of Cameron in search of a man who was Gardener to the Emperor of Japan. She wants him to design a garden in memory of her sister but instead he takes her on as his Apprentice. This book (like Will Self’s Umbrella) spans different timelines.
This book is full of poetry and words which are really affecting – it makes you feel as if you are living inside this story. It is a story of exile – many of the characters are from different parts of the world but feel incredibly passionate and bitter about their homelands and about the people who they were fighting. The author also creates mysteries within the book and as the reader you need to piece it all together.
The only two downsides are that the plot has certain implausibility’s and you sometimes feel that you are being taught ‘things’. Overall though it is a beautiful and haunting book and I’ve learnt about a place and a time in history that I didn’t know about.