Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Girl in the Garden

The Girl in the Garden by Kamala Nair evokes a fairy-tale like atmosphere that I enjoyed after reading about zombies in London!  It was a refreshing change from some of the books I've been reading lately.

Rakhee Singh is a woman who finds herself on a plane to India after leaving her fiancee with a note explaining that she has kept secrets from him, and she must go to India in order to resolve issues that have haunted her since a summer trip to India with her mother at age 11.

That summer trip exposed Rakhee to a whole new world, one very different from her life in Minnesota with her father, a doctor, and her mother, who suffered from bouts of depression and began receiving mysterious letters from India that she hid from her husband.  Who wrote the letters?  

Rakhee's journey back to her mother's family, and the summer she spends in India, are full of secrets that Rakhee is determined to figure out.  The tales of the creature in the jungle behind the family home have her curious, and soon she is wandering down the pathway to a place that contains a family secret only a few know about.  The author's descriptions of the flowers, the sultry summer sun, and the sights, smells, and sounds of India are amazing, and keep you turning the pages.  

What is the secret in the garden?  Can Rakhee figure it all out, and keep her parents' marriage together?  What haunts her from that summer?  This was an enjoyable first novel, and something different for me to read.  This is a good summer read and for anyone who is a fan of novels like Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, The Secret Life of Bees, or novels set in exotic locations.

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