49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Images that haunt the imagination and a great story to match,
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This review is from: The Garden of Evening Mists (Paperback)
For me, Tan Twan Eng's 'The Gift Of Rain' became one of those books that enter your subconscious on some level and keeps popping back into your mind. It was partly due to the evocative descriptions, partly the complexities of the central character. So when I bought my copy of 'Garden Of Evening Mists' I thought it unlikely he could achieve the same success twice. However, Tan Twan Eng has proved himself a genuine artist once again. The narrator is intriguing all the way through to the book's ending (which, by the way, carries a surprising twist and punch unusual in a so-called 'literary' novel). There is an air of beautiful sadness to some parts of the story. Again, the descriptions of the Malayan highlands are layered with deeper nuances, just as they were when Tan Twan Eng described the island of Penang in 'Gift Of Rain'. Finally, there are timeless (and some horrible) moral dilemmas swirling round this book like the mists round the eponymous garden. Dilemmas for the characters that made this reader, at least, think about the hard choices people face in the world. Tan isn't a prolific writer and reading his novel reveals why: every word counts.