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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Beautifully and poetically written.

A story line about experiences foreign to a Caribbean person but which captured my heart.

  • Overall

incredibly confusing

Author continually switched between past and present. Motivations for relationships unclear. Narration was very good

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loved this book! I

I learned so much about Malaya and the Prisoner Champs. The conflicts between the Japanese and Chinese during World War II were so interesting. This book was wonderful with terrific character development, good writing and it was well- narrated. I highly recommend it

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  • Performance
  • Story

A Work of Art

Any additional comments?

Without question the most beautifully written and narrated book I've had the pleasure to listen to.

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Loved it

As an avid gardener I could imagine the beautiful world I heard about in the book. The story of what happened in Malaysia during WW2 was eye opening. Enjoyed every minute of it.

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  • Story

Fabulous story, very well narrated

If you could sum up The Garden of Evening Mists in three words, what would they be?

This is an incredible story. One you will never forget

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

The Gift of Rain, by the same author

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  • Performance
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great journey

there is so much information in this book. I kept thinking I need to learn more about this. Malaysia will no longer be a distant place for me, but a place I have traveled to by way of a great book.

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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.

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  • Performance
  • Story

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.

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  • Story

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....