Jesika's Reviews > The Office of Gardens and Ponds

The Office of Gardens and Ponds by Didier Decoin
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bookshelves: arc-s, in-translation, historical-fiction

Reading this book was a strange experience, and I'm not entirely sure that I can accurately explain why and have anyone believe me. Let's leave it at the fact that I am concerned about the author's sexual fetishes and understanding of the female experience of sex and it would appear that the editors were too nervous to raise these issues. And some pretty odd scenes therefore went to print.

Like, I'm talking REALLY, REALLY STRANGE.

The rest of the book I did largely enjoy. It is clear that a lot of research has gone into this book and though I do feel that an awful lot of that research really didn't need to make it into the final version, the rumination of grief is very interesting as is the historical Japanese setting. There was, however, that bit too much factual information thown at the reader - I think this was an attempt at setting the scene but, for me, I found that it overpowered the plot lines and the interactions between the characters, making several moments that should have been emotionally powerful kind of moot.

Plus, just when the plot/character interactions where getting really good, there seemed to always be one of the REALLY ODD sex scenes in lieu of ay genuine intimacy or character development.

That said, this is not a period of history that I think gets written about particularly often. It was interesting to me to consider this time period of the Japanese Empire and I think the dichotomy between the Imperial City and live in the small villages in the provines was well depicted.

Also, massive appreciation for the translation here - this reads beautifully.
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Reading Progress

April 25, 2019 – Started Reading
April 25, 2019 – Shelved
April 27, 2019 – Shelved as: arc-s
April 27, 2019 – Shelved as: in-translation
April 27, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
April 27, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Kelly I believe you 😂 It's a book that will stay with me for a long time because of the sheer absurdity of some of the scenes x


Jesika Kelly wrote: "I believe you 😂 It's a book that will stay with me for a long time because of the sheer absurdity of some of the scenes x"

I just feel a but traumatised 😂


Vivienne Maybe having been originally written in France where literature with a more frank sexuality is more accepted?
Still I probably haven’t got to the stranger bits yet 😹


Jesika Vivienne wrote: "Maybe having been originally written in France where literature with a more frank sexuality is more accepted?
Still I probably haven’t got to the stranger bits yet 😹"

Frank is one think, what happens in this book is another thing entirely 😂


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