Sarah's Reviews > In the Night Garden

In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente
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Apr 12, 10


This really is a beautifully written book. It's a story within a story within a story kind of book. Because of that, some people might get frustrated by a lack of action, essentially everything is being told to you and so everything is in the past tense. But the characters are wonderful, they are well written with pasts, and regrets and wants and desires that they will tell you through a tale. And the tales are intertwinning, with characters from one tale encountering characters from another tale.

The plot revolves around a girl thought to be a demon because she has black ink staining her eyes so she is tossed into the Garden to live among the wild things there, and there is where the Sultan's son finds her. But what appears to be solid black is actually many tales winked onto her skin when she was only a few days old, and as she tells the boy the tales, a story of the world and all the riches it holds unravels.

The tales are told in 4 "books", 2 books in this volume, and 2 in the next volume. But characters from each tale invade the next, so it feels very comprehensive and complete at the end.
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