Hannah's Reviews > The Garden of Evening Mists

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
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's review
Jul 26, 2012

liked it
Read from August 10 to 24, 2012

This is a strange one to review for me. It is beautifully written and multi-layered, and I agree with all the reasons other people loved it. An eerie sense of unease was carried through it very well, and I loved reading about the garden.

But it also could have been edited down a touch and packed a little more punch. I got fed up with bouncing around time, sometimes I got confused between Magnus and Frederick because I forgot which point in time I was supposed to be reading. So I agree with a lot of why some people didn't like it. Personally, I didn't think the author did a very good job of speaking from a woman's perspective, the narrative felt detached to me, and I wasn't surprised to learn the writer was male.

But, as I say, I enjoyed it. I just don't think it matches up to what I've come to expect of Man Booker nominees, although the prize does throw out some odd choices sometimes in my view (The Finkler Question being a case in point). Anyway, I would recommend this book, I just didn't think it was amazing.
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Reading Progress

41.0% "Beautifully written, meandering prose, which I'm really enjoying, partly in an escapist way."
62.0% "Getting a bit annoyed with the narrative jumping backwards and forwards, sometimes unnecessarily, and now I'm suddenly presented with a different viewpoint and back story. Normally I like that, but not when I'm more than half way into a novel. It's a bit jarring for me."
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