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The Walled Garden

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Beth flew the coop as soon as she could, making a life for herself and her daughter in London. Now her mother, Alice, is dying and Beth has returned to the shabby grandeur of her childhood home to keep vigil by her bedside.
Published May 4th 2001 by Picador USA (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  137 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Mar 13, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked this books but I didn't love it. I don't think it was a very veeeery interesting book or a "WOW" book. It has a beautiful and well written story but the whole book is about one specific subject and it isn't very dinamic, it's focused mainly in the same thing and that's about it.
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can understand why this book wouldn’t be everybody’s cup of tea. Its characters are very introspective, there’s a lot of time hopping from past to present and back again, and it’s often sad. However, I thought this was an excellent read, a speculative look at the inner workings of an elderly woman’s mind as she struggles through successively more serious cerebral vascular events over several weeks. More interesting to me, was the dissection of the fractured mother-daughter relationship between ...more
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Certi libri, in certi momenti, possono avere quasi un effetto terapeutico.
Ha tanto da dire questo libro: il rapporto con la propria madre condiziona il proprio essere donna, il proprio essere madre. Il confronto che deriva da generazioni diverse, esperienze diverse ma vissuto comune costringe all'analisi di sé, all'autocritica, ad affrontare finalmente il proprio Io liberandolo dai veli della parzialità, del ricordo deforme e selettivo.
Una grande Dunne quindi, capace di scandagliare l'animo e di
Un libro che ha avuto un effetto inaspettato su di me. Sono partita pensando a un romanzo scorrevole, leggero e mi sono ritrovata a fare delle riflessione su la vita, i rapporti, i sogni/le ambizioni, le concessioni, i fraintendimenti, i ripensamenti. La scrittura è molto scorrevole e le descrizioni dei momenti di turbamento mentale di Alice sono molto coinvolgenti. Non so quanto il momento presente - pandemia per covid-19 - abbia inciso sulla mia sensibilità in questa lettura a prima vista bana ...more
Jul 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Beautiful and touching book! It is a journey through the memories and the past, which lets the reader rebuild piece by piece the main moments Alice lived, her relationship with her daughter Beth and son James. The letters she wrote to Beth get the reader more involved in her thoughts, feelings and emotions. I found it very emotional!
Christine Tookey
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED this book! I’ve re-read it at different times in my life and it has meant something different on each occasion, especially as my daughter has grown from child to woman and my mother into old age, often sad at times but poignantly lovely at the same time? A very thought provoking read, reminding one of their own past
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
bel libro di analisi psicologica del rapporto madre figlia; comincio a pensare che, oltre al rapporto con mia mamma, devo guardare quello con i miei fgli - il maschio soprattutto
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Alice is a 70-something year old mother & grandmother who is dying. Beth (Elizabeth), her only daughter left home and her life is now in England while James, the only son, still lives in Dublin and gets to see his mother often.
Beth returns home after learning the news of her mother's condition and frailty, she basically returns to say her goodbyes. She also discovers letters addressed to both She and James from her dying mother. Through these letters, Alice communicates with Beth and opens up t
Nov 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jaki by: Library book club
Shelves: bookclub
Not quite what I expected from book club - deeper than chic-lit, but quite light. Beth, a 40+y.o. woman,returns to Dublin from her successful life in London to nurse her dying mother. The novel tells the story of their troubled relationship, and their relationship with James, Beth's brother. I really enjoyed thinking through other mother/daughter relationships I have observed, and was impressed that the author did not resort to any last minute confessions, or verbal reconciliations between the w ...more
Damhnait Dennis
Sep 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a well-told story of a difficult mother-daughter relationship and the damage done within the family as much by things that are said as by things left unsaid. I think that although the main narrator is not easy to like or sympathise with you continue to read to discover how she has developed and how her father's early death impacted on his wife and children. The use of sewing and dressmaking is interesting- for the mother it represents nurturing and a means of expressing emotions that she ...more
Sharon Wilbur
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was a surprise. I don't even remember where I picked up, but noticed it on the shelf and pulled it

It is well written and touches your heart. Dunne develops the family relationships in a way that each of them is real and each is connected in the touching developments between Beth and her Mother.

Have the tissues ready.
Dec 09, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: daughters with elderly mothers
Shelves: haveread
It's a book about a woman who returns home to Dublin for her mother's dying days. Their relationship wasn't that great over the years and now her mother is dying, in a coma, at home. The book travels back and forth in time, and by character. Nice writing, a very definite Dublin feel about it. It brought a tear to my eye at the end of it and prompted me to ring my mother for a chat!
Apr 08, 2013 rated it liked it
And averagely nice book - captivating style, quick read, common theme involving family around death of matriarchal figure
Feb 02, 2016 added it
Good story although sad
Gloria Finocchi
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Il racconto di una donna che deve far pace con il proprio passato per ritrovare se stessa nel presente.
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel
in italian "Il viaggio verso casa"
Sara Manetti
May 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
It is not one of the best book I've read, actually it's one of the worse. The story is nice but let's say it's not my kind. The italian translation was awful.
Laura Williams
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May 01, 2019
Ana Rodrigues
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Jan 16, 2018
Emma Ingram
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Oct 24, 2017
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Mar 28, 2018
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Nov 26, 2012
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Oct 26, 2018
Mallee Stanley
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Jun 14, 2014
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Makes you waanna cry,amazing
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Aug 16, 2012
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Mar 12, 2015
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Aug 02, 2012
Verdiana M.
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Jan 28, 2018
Diana Marques fonseca
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Oct 17, 2017
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