Tan Twan Eng's "The Garden of Evening Mists" is a place of mystery.
Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? Why is it that Yun Ling's friend and host Magnus Praetorius, seems to almost immune from the depredations of the Communists?
What is the legend of 'Yamashita's Gold' and does it have any basis in fact?
And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?
An interesting discussion seem guaranteed.
Narrated by a slave woman, a house maid on a sugar cane estate, the novel tells of the Baptist wars and the horrendous injustices imposed on black people, by mostly British, white land owners.
Told in the typical West Indian lilting, rhythmic prose, which some found enchanting, others irritating, the book is well written with amusing, descriptive passages.
All agreed that most of the characters, especially white, were weak and rather inspired but the central character, July, was a strong feisty character. The book, generally, was enjoyed by most of us, but possibly paled in comparison to Levy’s earlier book, A Small Island.
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