Clare's Reviews > The Office of Gardens and Ponds

The Office of Gardens and Ponds by Didier Decoin
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‘The Office of Gardens and Ponds’ is set in a world that is very distant from me in both time and place. Set in Japan, around the year 1000 AD, this novel tells the story of Miyuki, the grief-stricken widow of the master carp catcher who, for years, provided the carp for Japan’s Imperial city. After Katsuro’s death by drowning, Miyuki has to fulfill her late husband’s task of carrying his last carp to the imperial city. Didier Decoin’s vivid descriptions of the landscape, people, smells, and colours make it easy to imagine the difficult journey that Miyuki undertakes. Muyiki is driven by her loyalty towards her late husband, and the loyalty towards the people of her village, to complete the journey, that for her too, takes place in a world outside of her own. She never left her village Shimae, before her husband’s death. It had made up her whole world. “In Shimae” she says, “everything was here, and not over there”. The character of Miyuki grieves for her husband, and she deconstructs the world she lives in to honour the last piece that is left of him. The journey is very hard for Muyiki. Her journey is not only a physical journey to the imperial city , but also an emotional one, through her process of mourning for her late husband. I enjoyed reading this novel, even though I did not know what to expect of a story set in a world as alien as rural Japan a millennium ago. The colourful language of the author makes that you can fully immerse yourself in the story and follow Miyuki on her life changing journey. Thank you Quercus books for sending me a free copy.
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Reading Progress

March 19, 2019 – Shelved
March 19, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
March 24, 2019 – Started Reading
March 24, 2019 –
March 25, 2019 –
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April 8, 2019 – Finished Reading

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