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The Garden of Evening Mists

The Garden of Evening Mists Read & download Þ 9 Te her hatred of the Japanese Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur in memory of her sister who died in the camp Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice 'until the monsoon comes' Then she can design a garden for herselfAs the months pass Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to her sensei and his art while outside the garden the threat of murder and kidnapping from the guerrillas of the jun. Memory is like patches of sunlight in an overcast valley shifting with the movement of the clouds Now and then the light will fall on a particular point in time illuminating it for a moment before the wind seals up the gap and the world is in shadows again I have indeed been touched by the hand of grace in discovering this perfect elegant lyrical and thought provoking book I feel as if I have discovered the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow Such a tour de force How can I possibly describe the impact that this work has had on me It has unearthed thoughts passions and emotions in me that I didn t even know that I possessed Where can I begin in this magical world of prose That is indeed the dilemma for me The difficulty in this particular case is that the elements are so diverse and the powerful tool of memory has come into the euation in many different formsI have never empathized so much with an individual such as Yun Ling AK as Judge Teoh in her working life before She was Straits Chinese and spoke English I find her uite uniue and in my eyes she is a true heroine but interestingly enough as the novel progressed I found that her thoughts of survival were powerful than certain well defined emotions such as sibling love as that of her sister Yun HongYun Ling suffers from two kinds of memories those she wishes to forget such as the brutal treatment she received whilst interned in the slave labour camp run by the Japanese in Malaya during the Second World and those she wishes to retain In the early part of the novel in the flashbacks it is the former but as we proceed through her life to the present day there are memories she wishes to retain and writes them down so that she will remember them As a judge she started having problems formulating sentences and forgetting words After neurological tests she was told that she was suffering from a degenerative condition of the brain called primary progressive aphasia ie losing the capability to understand words and sentences that are heard or read That then dementia would arrive She had been told that this condition would probably come within a year Hence the reason for her early retirementThis book has an exotic plot in that it centres on a magnificent garden called Yugiri which translates to evening mists hence the rather splendid title of the book It is based in the lush highlands of Malaya and covers a period of forty or so years after the end of the war Aritomo the former gardener of the Emperor of Japan who eventually turned out and proved to be than that developed and tended this magnificent tranuil place His name was well known and many people from the outside world wished to see the garden but he preferred that it be kept a private haven Yun Ling s sister had died in the slave labour camp where she was horribly abused and the former wishes to have a memorial built for her in Yugiri but Aritomo declines He suggests another solution that she become his apprentice so that she can achieve this aim herselfAritomo s neighbours are Magnus Pretorious a south African who had fought in the Boer War lost an eye there and wore an eye patch and owns the Majuba Tea Estate and his Chinese wife Emily They are a vital link in Aritomo s life Frederik Magnus nephew proves to be the one permanent fixture in Yun Ling s life and a very good friendBut there is so much intrigue in this book and it soon takes on the fabric of a multi faceted detective novel as Yun Ling continually tries to find the camp where her sister died She even becomes a researcher with the War Crimes Tribunal to ensure that the Japanese responsible for their crimes were accountable due to her diligence many are found guilty and subseuently hanged Then she became a judge and continues with this workWhen Yun Ling first meets Aritomo circumstances cause them to become involved but they were like collaborators Both had something to hide and both still had anger and in the end it was the ancient tradition of horimono that proved to be the deciding factor When Aritomo mysteriously disappears into the jungle one evening uestions are asked Why and for what reason and why was he never found I found Aritomo to be a fascinating individual He tried on the surface to remain uninvolved in the atrocities committed by the Japanese during the war One conversation with Yun Ling was He scratched the pebbles on the bank with the tip of his walking stick Before I met you before you came here I never knew anyone personally who had lost friends or family in the Occupation Oh I knew of those here who had been brutalized by my people the men and women in the villages the workers here even Magnus and Emily But I kept myself above all that I kept out everything that was unpleasant I attended only to my gardenThen the historian Professor Tatsuji Yoskikawa enters the arena Yun Ling lets him into her secret but even that results in another idea and change in direction for he too is following his own agendaThe symbolism in the book the magnificent light the woodblock prints the heron the Chinese lanterns and fairy tales The two South African ridgebacks Brolloks and Bitterrgal also played their partThe atmosphere in British Malaya particularly the jungle with the Communists hidden there and waiting to cause havoc and violence all the individuals who lived in Malaya believing that the British would protect them against the Communists and that independence would eventually be achieved It was a difficult timeAnd the denouement Well all I can say is my Read this wonderful book too You will never come across this type of book again in your life and that s for sure

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The Garden of Evening Mists Read & download Þ 9 It's Malaya 1949 After studying law at Cambridge and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals Yun Ling Teoh herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp seeks solace among the jungle fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child There she discovers Yugiri the only Japanese garden in Malaya and its owner and creator the enigmatic Aritomo exiled former gardener of the Emperor of JapanDespi. I get why this was nominated for the Booker I also get why it didn t win Not that winning the Booker is any kind of indisputable endorsement that a novel is truly first rate and destined to become a classic I get why The Luminaries was nominated but I ll never get why it won unless the competition that year was uniformly ordinary and the same is true for me of half a dozen past winners There was so much that was good about this novel and yet while I consistently enjoyed it I never uite loved it I m still trying to put my finger on why Maybe it s because there s just a bit too much going on Maybe because the relentlessly sumptuous prose was sometimes decorative when it might have been revealing I remember one indicative sentence when a man s touch on a woman s back was described as like a dragonfly settling on a leaf It s a picturesue image but essentially meaningless if you stop and think about it In what way is a woman s back like a leaf And how is the touch of a dragonfly different from say that of a mosuito Sometimes the prose could be just a bit too self consciously pretty The Garden of Evening Mists is essentially a love story which incorporates an awful lot of fascinating historical information about Malaya where its set and especially regarding the Japanese invasion of that country during WW2 The narrator is Supreme Court judge Teoh Yun Ling daughter of a prosperous Chinese Malaysian family and the sole survivor of a Japanese prisoner of war camp One of the mysteries at the heart of the novel is why she was the lone survivor After the war she becomes a merciless prosecutor of war criminals her experiences at the camp have left her loathing everything Japanese Except there s a problem Her sister who died in the camp harboured an ambition to build a garden after visiting the gardens of Kyoto When Yun Ling discovers the Japanese Emperor s former gardener Aritomo is living in Malaya and has built a garden there she asks him to build her a garden in memory of her dead sister Yun Ling and Aritomo the two central characters are both morally ambivalent both hiding shaming secrets and at times outright unlikeable which makes them fascinating They are also somewhat humourless which was a shame Aritomo never uite came alive for me It felt like he was a character who has featured in other books the enigmatic wise solitary ageing artist who has an answer for everything but reserves his wisdom for one entitled visitor He s also a kind of conduit of many of the mystical facets of Japanese culture archery the tea ceremony woodcuts tattooing Zen philosophy It s his task in the novel to redeem the Japanese in the eyes of the harsh and unforgiving Yun Ling One of the novel s central themes is the precarious relationship between remembering and forgetting This is the novel s greatest triumph There s a lovely scene where Aritomo takes Yun Ling to a remote ruined temple which a handful of nuns preserve The novel is consistently stressing the importance of preserving memory albeit in unorthodox ways The garden itself is a kind of spirit and memory map It s also an exciting novel The presence in the country of rebel communist bands means safety can never be taken for granted It works well as a mystery novel too The mysteries building in intensity and artfully revealed at the opportune moments Basically there s an awful lot to like about The Garden of Evening Mists and Tan Twan Eng is a hugely accomplished and fascinating writer who I will definitely read again In fact I liked it better than The Luminaries so perhaps after all I don t get why it didn t win the Booker

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The Garden of Evening Mists Read & download Þ 9 Gle hinterland increases with each passing day But the Garden of Evening Mists is also a place of mystery Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan Why is it that Yun Ling's friend and host Magnus Praetorius seems almost immune from the depredations of the Communists What is the legend of 'Yamashita's Gold' and does it have any basis in fact And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of al. This is such a beautiful book incorporating so much in poetic language and imagery complex and conflicted characters dealing with such huge issues that are both personal and of human kind The imagery of mists clouds birds sky open it up while paradoxically closing it in at times in the same way that Arimoto opens up his garden using his careful techniues and also opens up his life to Yun Ling and she to him The epigraph to this book is perfect in setting the tone and mood It is from A Meander Through Memory and Forgetting by Richard Holmes There is a goddess of Memory Mnemosyne but none of Forgetting Yet there should be as they are twin sisters twin powers and walk on either side of us disputing for sovereignty over us and who we are all the way until death loc 64Placed as this is before the novel begins it would be easy to overlook its importance but don t These twins will be present throughout this novel first as recall seems to take precedence then as forgetfulness again takes holdand this is true for all the characters who are in the grip of alternating memory and forgetting And as the characters share their thoughts and stories the prose is wonderfully poetic Below these words was the garden s name in English EVENING MISTS I felt I was about to enter a place that existed only in the over lapping of air and water light and time loc 232 The pavilion s roof beams are sagging The entire structure seems to be melting losing the memory of its shape loc 480 For what is a person without memories A ghost trapped between worlds without an identity with no future no past loc 505 The sun was breaking free of the mountains Over the distant treetops a flock of birds unspooled into a black wavering thread pulling across the sky loc 924Of course I could go on and on as there so many examples of beauty in this novel And there is also memory of the horror of war and its affects on the various peoples of the countries of the Pacific Can this beauty help to heal Can it uiet doubts and uestionsIn one final selection I have chosen from the text Yun Ling has discovered the water wheel in Arimoto s garden There are inscriptions on the undersides of the paddles I said Not many people would have noticed them Prayers carved by monks With every turn of the wheel the paddles press into the water imprinting the holy words onto its surface he said Just think once these prayers were carried from the temple in the mountains all the way to the sea blessing all those they floated past In my mind I saw the stream winding down these mountains leaving Yugiri to be pulled into a river I saw the prayers steam off the water in the morning sun as the river flowed through the rain forest past a tiger and mouse deer drinking from it past Malay kampongs and aboriginal longhouses and Chinese suatter settlements I saw a farmer in his paddy field by the river s edge uncrook his back and gaze upward to the sky feeling a cool breeze on his face and a long moment of unexplained contentment loc 1882I highly recommend this book to everyone There are moments of pain moments of sublime contentment Much to consider and enjoy in this wonderful work

  • Hardcover
  • 350
  • The Garden of Evening Mists
  • Tan Twan Eng
  • English
  • 15 February 2018
  • 9781905802494