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Love's Garden

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  13 reviews
It is 1898. India is ruled by the British, and India’s women are ruled by British masters as well as Indian men. A desperate young widow sacrifices her firstborn child to save herself from ultimate dishonor. She marries a stranger, but her damaged second family pays dearly for this Faustian bargain. Then, an extraordinary atonement, strange liaisons in politics and love—sp ...more
Paperback, 1st, 300 pages
Published October 27th 2020 by Aubade Publishing
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I had this book for quite a long time before I bumped it up the 'to be read' pile and tackled it. I think I was put off by the cover. Beautiful young woman looking out over lush green tea plantations. I was expecting something pretty soppy. There's a real trend for 'romance among the tea bushes' these days and I'm not a fan. They say we shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I'd SERIOUSLY recommend that the publishers consider changing this one as the book inside is NOTHING like the cover sugge ...more
Mary Eve
Arrey, naa. Oh, well. It seems like all of my latest reading choices are painfully slow...or, just painful. Love's Garden was both. It began quite nicely. It did take some time to get used to Bhattacharya's writing style - thoughts with double meaning and intention; thoughts and conversations in Hindu and English. (Hindu glossary for translation provided) This isn't an easy tale to digest. India is governed by British law and men. India seeks independence. War is in the past, in the present, and ...more
Falguni Jain
Mar 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Love's Garden is set in 1890s and gives the reader an essence of India's state of affairs under the British Raj. There is a divide between the Indians who love their country and those who try to impress the Britishers in hope of incentives.

Love's Garden is Prem's journey in that era from being unwanted by her own mother to being a mother not just to her own son but also to her husband's son and best friend's daughter. The reader goes through all the phases of her life—unaccepted daughter, friend
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“This is not a tragic melodrama movie,” one of the characters in Love’s Garden thinks, about her life. Perhaps unfortunately, the same cannot be said of this novel.

Over the course of many, many lush and searing pages, Nandini Bhattacharya paints a picture of one family’s transition from their quiet lives in an Indian village to pariahs in a ravaged post-independence Calcutta. The story revolves around Prem, a village girl who marries a wealthy Bengali Indian and follows him to the city. There, i
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book delved deep into the hearts of mothers and motherless children with war and unrest in India from 1898 to 1950 as it's backdrop. I enjoyed the book and learned some of India's history that I did not know. The writing style did make for a dense, sometimes slow read but it was worth it.

Thank you to Aubade Publishing and NetGalley for access to this ARC.
Hannelore Cheney
Thank you NetGalley and Aubade Publishing for the eARC.
I love books set in India as I lived there for a couple of years, but this story did not grab me at all. Pity, I was so looking forward to reading it, but had to give up after several chapters. Sorry!
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Colonial India can be a hard setting to depict in a way that does it justice, but Nandina Bhattacharya does so for the most part, although as one might expect, it’s hardly a pleasant read. Granted, the cover is very misleading, playing into a very romanticized image of the period that could deceive readers.

I enjoyed the historical breadth of the book, getting a real sense of the dark times the Indian people lived through, from life under the British Raj to the impact of the two world wars. It d
Scott Coon
Loves Garden is a beautifully told story about a culture going through great changes. Behind the dates and events of history are the people whose lives were shaped by it, both rich and poor, powerful and hapless. Loves Garden tells their stories.
We follow Prem from childhood to marriage to motherhood and beyond. All the while, we walk through a culture as it is changed by historical forces. We see the fate of her childhood friend, Kanan, and that of Kanan's family.
While the focus is on the wom
Katie Holland
I originally chose this book because while the description seemed a bit more on the heavy side for my typical tastes, I was intrigued about the historical aspects of Indian life as that is an unfamiliar culture to me. But, man, this book is just super duper heavy. It's disjointed, the chapters end abruptly and I honestly never got to know a character enough to care about them. I would have DNF'd if I had bought this or borrowed from the library but was given an advance copy from NetGalley in exc ...more
Polly Krize
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Late 19th century India, this is an engrossing book exploring the bonds between mothers and daughters. Colonial India and its dark times leading to independence is well presented and heartfelt in its writing. Recommended.
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
A sprawling family saga set against a background of some of the most momentous events of 20th Century Indian history.
I really wanted to love this. The storyline was all over the place. I had a hard time connecting with the characters. It felt very jumbled and it needed to picked apart and put back together.
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Nandini Bhattacharya was born and raised in India and has called the United States her second continent for the last thirty years. Wherever she has lived, she has generally turned to books for answers to life’s big and small questions. Her short stories have been published in Meat for Tea: the Valley Review, Storyscape Journal, Raising Mothers, The Bacon Review, The Bangalore Review, OyeDrum, and ...more

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