V.r. Christensen's Reviews > The Constant Gardener
The Constant Gardener
by John le Carré
by John le Carré
V.r. Christensen's review
Oct 07, 2011
I have heard some say that of all LeCarre's books, this is the weakest. I confess that, while I'm familiar with the names of many of his other books, this is the first of his I've read. I have to say, I really loved it. It is a tender piece of storytelling, subtle in all the right ways that make the imagination work to fill in the rest, resulting in intense and complicated emotion. The story is about the death of Justin Quayle's wife, and his search to find out the truth. On his journey, he takes us along the emotional and circumstantial road of their union. By all appearances it was, at least for her, a marriage of convenience. For him, quiet, soft spoken, it was of the heart. But the words, never spoken, leave a chasm after her death of unresolved conflicts, both emotional and real. Was her involvement as a human rights activist what lead to her death? Or was it something more? Was she the constant wife, or did her affections lie elsewhere? His work as a diplomat, and hers with human rights, meant that they knew little about the professional sides of each others' lives. But did they know each other at all? It's a moving, gripping story, full of suspense and intrigue and yet paints a picture of a very intimate relationship, that, despite its flaws, its necessary sacrifices, was something worth remembering, worth fighting to understand, and, perhaps, renders life not worth living without.
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