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The China Garden

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  43 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The China Garden follows three protagonists over a 2-week period that culminates in a shocking event that affects them all. Fifty-year-old Laura has come home from Italy to bury her mother Angela and get her affairs in order. However, she has an unexpected surprise waiting for her until Angela's death, Laura had believed she was an only child, but the will has made ...more
paperback, 281 pages
Published March 2009 by University of Queensland Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan 19, 2016 Lisa rated it liked it
Shelves: australia, c21st, 10review
A classy reflection on the impact of secrets.
The China Garden explores this fraught theme of distorted identity in a novel whose characters emerge from the postwar period when the absence of effective birth control created many victims of rigid social mores.

Middle-aged Laura has returned to a coastal Queensland town to bury her mother only to discover that there are secrets in Angela’s life. Cress, an enigmatic older woman with some quirky behaviours, has secrets too, while Kieran, in his thirt
Lauren K
Aug 13, 2011 Lauren K rated it liked it
Shelves: aussie-author
This review was first posted @ The Australian Bookshelf

The China Garden introduces three distinct characters who are linked together unknowingly but their lives become entangled with one another as the story evolves. Laura, a middle aged woman returns home to Northern NSW for her mother’s funeral and to face the past she had hidden away from for a decade. Cress is an elderly woman who sees other people’s trash through different eyes and her grandson Kieran in his 30s lives a child-like existence
Sep 17, 2013 Bücher-Stöberia rated it liked it
Sowohl der Klappentext als auch der Prolog des Buches vermitteln das Gefühl, dass es sich bei diesem Buch um ein dramatisches und handlungsreiches Buch handeln könnte, in dem vor allem der junge Kieran eine besondere Rolle spielt. Aber das täuscht. Denn „Der Porzellangarten“ ist ein sehr ruhiges Buch. Kieran taucht zwar durchaus in einigen Schlüsselszenen auf, aber der Schwerpunkt der Handlung liegt nicht auf seinen Eigenheiten, die durchaus besonders sind, sondern auf drei Frauen, die sehr ...more
Carolyn Mck
Aug 28, 2015 Carolyn Mck rated it liked it
Not quite a four star novel for me, though there was a lot to like about it. I had previously read Olsson's memoir, Boy Lost, which was about how her mother had her son taken from her by her husband and didn't see him again for some decades. This is a fictional version of a lost boy - in this case through adoption in the 1950s. I suppose I expected more of a correspondence between the memoir and the novel, but it is really just this theme - the bond between mothers and children and how easily it ...more
Oct 04, 2016 Indya rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judith Yeabsley
Jul 09, 2009 Judith Yeabsley rated it liked it
A reasonably well written, reasonably interesting, reasonably readable book. Does not inspire many emotions on any level.
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Jun 08, 2014 Chai1965 rated it really liked it
Beautiful writing full of melancholy. Interesting to read alongside her non-fiction work Boy, Lost.
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