The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
One August Night by Victoria Hislop Set in the late 1950s on Crete this book returns to the world and characters Hislop created in The Island - an award winning novel. When time stops dead for Maria Petrakis and her sister, Anna, two families split apart and the closure of Spinalonga is forever linked with tragedy. A great celebration is held in Plaka to mark the closure of the leper colony which sits across the bay. A cure has been found, and the residents of the island are finally free to return to their families. A tragic and violent murder turns the community upside down and the book is all about the aftermath of that evening.
The whole group felt the plot lacked direction, was contrived and disjointed and we didn’t engage with the characters and events. It did not leave you with a strong sense of place and only one character - Maria had any substance. The final chapters had the story moving to Australia - a possible future book.
Feedback included : interesting to learn more about leprosy and the stigma attached to this disease; lacked imagination; plot didn’t flow; disappointed; boring; like a soap opera; formulaic.
As usual , we had a very lively discussion, and several members had enjoyed her first book-The Island, published in 2006 which was very successful.
Our next meeting will be in January 2024 when we will review “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini.