Kya's Reviews > Gardens of Water

Gardens of Water by Alan Drew
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Oct 27, 08

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The novel Gardens of Water, is the first book that was written by Alan Drew, who was born and raised in California and has traveled all around the world. Drew attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has a master of fine arts degree. This book is about a girl, Irem, and her family, living in a small town outside Istanbul. They are Kurdish Muslim and have many strict beliefs. Irem and her family live in an apartment building with a couple other people, including an American family consisting of a young boy, Dylan, who is 17 years old, and his mother and father. Gardens of Water is a story of love, family, growing-up, and betrayal.

In the novel Gardens of Water, the reader can relate to the young love blossoming between Irem and Dylan, the young American boy. It shows that two people from opposite sides of the world can be so similar, and love is always possible, even in the worst of circumstances. Every turn in this novel is a surprise and even though things do not turn out the way they seem to go in the direction of, there is a satisfying ending. The characterization is interesting because putting Irem, a conservative girl who is self-conscious about her body, with Dylan, a cool, laid back guy, with tattoos and more knowledge about the world lets us as readers understand the different perspectives on the world.

Some weaknesses in Gardens of Water were that it was very frustrating when the conflicts didn't quite evolve into solutions. The author could develop his ideas more to satisfy the reader and to create a more put together feel in the novel. Some parts of the novel were confusing especially when the author quickly switched point of views so that the reader had no idea who was speaking or what was going on. Some parts of the novel were also drawn on too long to be enjoyable.

Although it had many flaws, this novel was a great mind-opening book to all the cultures surrounding us. It made me feel blind when I read this book because I have never heard of any of the history in Middle Eastern countries, and it was like being slapped in the face with a whole other world. Gardens of Water had many strong moments and conflicts that were very interesting and good to think about. Overall, this novel was an exciting and suspenseful one and I would recommend it to people who enjoy romantic novels or novels about world cultures.
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