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The Garden of Evening Mists | [Tan Twan Eng]

The Garden of Evening Mists

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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?

©2012 Tan Twan Eng (P)2012 W.F. Howes

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  •  
    Robert GOLDENS BRIDGE, NEW YORK, United States 07-20-13
    Robert GOLDENS BRIDGE, NEW YORK, United States 07-20-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An artfully told tale, beautifully narrated"
    What did you love best about The Garden of Evening Mists?

    Interestingly, what I loved best is the performance. The author gives us characters from a variety of countries speaking English in distinctive accents. Ms. Bentinck's performance brings these voices to life so beautifully that, at times, you find yourself not caring so much about the slowly unfolding story as you are captivated by the sound of the characters. And while the story does build slowly, it builds very surely. The author has you firmly in his grip.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a gripping story filled with moral ambiguities and interesting surprises. It is beautifully constructed, like the artwork described within the story. The author uses language in many beautiful ways.


    Any additional comments?

    Just beautiful; a great read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sylvia Menlo Park, CA, United States 04-05-14
    Sylvia Menlo Park, CA, United States 04-05-14 Member Since 2007
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    17
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    Story
    "too much, too long"
    Would you listen to The Garden of Evening Mists again? Why?

    no


    Would you recommend The Garden of Evening Mists to your friends? Why or why not?

    The author is brilliant in creating images as he writes, however, in this book, like his first, he has too many story lines going (Jim Thompson-like character, kamikaze pilots love affair, the South African character, etc) and it detracts from his real story. Some of the stories seemed implausible, I couldn't believe the main character would do or accept her later life based on her history.


    Have you listened to any of Anna Bentinck’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    not sure that I have, but she is a good performer


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, his descriptive narrative, the beauty of the land, the description of the main character's coming to terms with her illness, I am sure there were others.


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe the author would be better off turning this novel into a series of short stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dallas 03-04-14
    Dallas 03-04-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Dreadful Accents"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Garden of Evening Mists to be better than the print version?

    I can only assume the book is better than the narration. The narrator has a pleasant enough voice when she is reading naturally, but when she lapses into her impersonation of Chinese, Japanese, South African accents, it is such a jolt it has ruined the book for me.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Very much so. Terrible accents. Compared with narrators such as Simon Vance and Jim Dale who bring individual characters to life so you know in an instant who is talking, this narrator made me wince.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RSH 12-24-13
    RSH 12-24-13 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Garden of Evening Mists to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What other book might you compare The Garden of Evening Mists to and why?

    The Gift of Rain by the same author. Two of the finest literary achievements in the last several decades.


    What does Anna Bentinck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Marvelous nuance


    If you could take any character from The Garden of Evening Mists out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Silly question. I'd prefer to have dinner with the author or narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an exquisite work beautifully performed. I only wish an equally talented male narrator (Jonathan Aris) would be commissioned to narrate The Gift of Rain by the Tan Twan Eng.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Novotny Klamath Falls OR 08-23-13
    Novotny Klamath Falls OR 08-23-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A well written book with good narration"

    If the words of a book could be soft or hard--these would be soft. Like floating --as nature and narrative intertwine. The connection with the Garden and the people is very 'sweet', the concepts interesting. The story is good....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Greenwood, IN, United States 07-08-13
    Julie Greenwood, IN, United States 07-08-13
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    "Wow, best listen I have had in a long time..."
    Where does The Garden of Evening Mists rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of my all-time favorites.


    Have you listened to any of Anna Bentinck’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will seek out her work from now on.


    Any additional comments?

    I never knew I was interested in Japanese gardening until now. This book, with the fabulous narration, was hypnotizing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    romuald PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States 02-06-13
    romuald PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States 02-06-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Like a Japanese woodblock print"
    Would you listen to The Garden of Evening Mists again? Why?

    No. I never listen again to the same story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Oh, please Dear Audible do not create a high school homework for me....


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's so stereotypical to ask such questions...


    If you could rename The Garden of Evening Mists, what would you call it?

    This entire "review" is not only artificial, but treats readers like not very brights children.


    Any additional comments?

    Now I am curious: Are they going to publish my "comments"?

    2 of 30 people found this review helpful
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