The Girl in the Garden: Review and Free Giveaway

0446572683The Girl in the Garden by Kamala Nair
Release date: 2011 / 305 pages

Synopsis (from the back cover): At once a powerful family saga and compelling personal odyssey, Kamala Nair’s debut novel tells the story of a conflicted young woman who, in an effort to seek clarity about her impending marriage, revisits in memory one fateful summer from her childhood.

First Sentence: By the time you read this I will be flying over the Atlantic on my way to India.

Review:  On many levels, this novel feels like a fairy tale — from the lush, sumptuous setting, to the eleven-year-old narrator, to the secrets revealed by the end.  The frame of the story involves a young woman, newly engaged, who decides she cannot begin a marriage with secrets.  So, she writes her fiance a letter about one fateful summer — the summer she turned eleven — and the rest of the novel unfolds as if the past were occurring in the present.  We join the narrator, eleven-year-old Rakhee, as she travels to India with her mother to meet her grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins and discovers a world of secrets that ultimately drives her away from her mother. 

The writing is very fast-paced and the novel makes short work of an afternoon.  Nair creates India viscerally and the setting was my favorite aspect of this novel, although the story and characters were compelling as well.  Overall, I would recommend this as a great novel to take on vacation — easy to get into and then return to.

So, if you are interested, please leave me a comment and I will choose a winner by the weekend!

Monday, June 27th:  Reflections of a Bookaholic

Tuesday, June 28th:  Simply Stacie

Wednesday, June 29th:  Reading on a Rainy Day

Thursday, June 30th:  Stiletto Storytime

Tuesday, July 5th:  Book Club Classics!

Wednesday, July 6th:  The Scarlet Letter

Thursday, July 7th:  Stephanie’s Written Word

Monday, July 11th:  Unabridged Chick

Tuesday, July 12th:  Coffee and a Book Chick

Wednesday, July 13th:  Savvy Verse and Wit

Friday, July 15th:  Chick Lit Reviews

Monday, July 18th:  Books Like Breathing

Tuesday, July 19th:  Dolce Bellezza

Wednesday, July 20th:  Life in Review

Monday, July 25th:  Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, July 26th:  Joyfully Retired

Friday, July 29th:  Book Snob

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43 Responses to The Girl in the Garden: Review and Free Giveaway

  1. Lu says:

    Oh, the book sounds wonderful! Thank you

  2. Cynthia says:

    Would love to win this one!

  3. Margie says:

    Thanks for the giveaway. This books sounds fascinating.

  4. Marcee says:

    This books sounds fabulous!! Thanks for the chance to win:)
    marcee dot rodgers at gmail dot com

  5. Raymond says:

    Looking forward to reading this book!

  6. Carol Wong says:

    I love fast paced books and especially those that are steeped into another culture. I would love to win to find out the secrets that drive the girl away from her mother.

  7. Colleen says:

    No need to enter me – I read/reviewed the book recently. It is a great read! And good for book clubs too.

  8. orchid7 says:

    Thanks for the giveaway- the book sounds really great! I’d love to enter!

  9. Emily says:

    I am always looking for new and different books to share with our Book Club. This sounds like a great book to read while staying in the cool air conditioning during our hot summer afternoons in Birmingham.

  10. Diane says:

    Oh, this sounds like a great book. Would love to read.

  11. Mona Garg says:

    Thanks for the giveaway. My ethnicity is South- Asian(India), so I am always drawn to books about/set in India and books by South-Asian authors.

    This one is already on my TBR mountain.

  12. Bhibha says:

    Book sounds FABULOUS!

  13. Christy says:

    Sounds like a fun and quick read ~ please enter me

  14. Maria D. says:

    This sounds like a really interesting book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Melanie says:

    I recently read Secret Daughter and loved the feel of India the book evoked. I’d love to read another book about India.

  16. Somer says:

    This sounds like a great suggestion for my next book club book! And I have always wanted to go to India. Maybe someday soon…

  17. Susan S says:

    This sounds amazing just from what you wrote above. I am in 2 book clubs and this sounds like a perfect selection. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  18. Steve says:

    Sounds like a great book

  19. Amy says:

    I like the premise of this story, it’s a good creative way to bring the past in. And I wonder what could have she have discovered when she was 11 that she feels the need to tell her fiance before marriage?!
    This reminds me a bit about young newly engaged women during the early 1900s worrying about any “love” letters they may have written to their first ‘love’ several years prior when they were 15 or 16. Many of these young women worried if these letters came to light, there’s engagements would end and their reputations be destroyed. It’s a fascinating commentary on the times and social issues!

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book!

  20. Cierina says:

    The book sounds like a good read. Thanks.

  21. I’d love to read it, thanks!

  22. Mary Gillick says:

    Perfect selection for the summer reading theme this year! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Sara says:

    This sounds like a really good story. I would love to read it.

  24. Mical Holcomb says:

    It sounds like a great read.

  25. Sue says:

    This sounds like a great story – please include me! Thanks

  26. Jennifer Downing says:

    This sounds like a beautiful story…fingers crossed!

  27. DIANA MACK says:

    i tend to not like “india” books but this sounds like one that might change my mind!

  28. Nancye Davis says:

    This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  29. Tamara says:

    I would love to read this!

  30. Wendy says:

    This sounds like an intriguing read! Thank you for entering me in the Giveaway!

  31. gwendolyn b. says:

    You are soooooo lucky to be going to India!! How is that you manage so much travel?!
    I don’t know exactly why, but I love books set in India and thereabouts, and it has become a favorite “genre” of mine. The culture is complicated and intriguing and I think saris are just so beautiful. (I know, I’m romanticizing!) Anyway, this book is on my wish list, so I thank you for the chance to win a copy. And I hope you have a good trip!

  32. Kristen says:

    Hi Gwendolyn! Actually, I do not have plans to visit India any time soon… Need to get through my tri-state move with 2 puppies and 2 horses first 🙂 But perhaps one day!!

  33. I love the comparison to a fairy tale!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  34. Debbie says:

    Sounds very interesting. Thanks for the Giveaway!

  35. Carol M says:

    I’d love to read this! It sounds really good! Thank you!

  36. Beachreader says:

    Sounds like another winner.
    Thanks for the review and the giveaway.

  37. Jessy says:

    I have never heard of this book before but I love the sound of this book. I can’t wait to read it.

  38. nfmgirl says:

    Sounds great! Please count me in. Thank you!

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

  39. Pingback: Life in Review: “The Girl in the Garden” by Kamala Nair « Life In Review

  40. Peg Sperli says:

    JOHN SHORS “Beneath a Marble Sky” is our pick-it’s a wonderful story of India’s Taj Mahal so it would be great to win this.

  41. Carol M says:

    I really want to read this! It sounds good! Thank you for the giveaway!

  42. Phyllis Copt says:

    My friend, Janet, travel to India on business, and she was just explaining to me how complicated the arranged marriages in India can be. Intriguing. This would be a great read to give me some insight into this fascinating world of women from another culture. Thanks for your continued excellent work.

  43. Sheila Herman says:

    Life is complicated, and that of children become even more so with interventions of caring, and destructive adults. This books sounds like it offers good insight into what happens early in life affects the person we become. I would appreciate reading the book.
    Thank you

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