The gardens of Kyoto : a novel

by Kate Walbert

Paper Book, 2001




New York : Scribner, c2001.


Kate Walbert recalls the death of her favorite cousin on Iwo Jima and her romance six years later with a man on the eve of his departure for Korea.

User reviews

LibraryThing member wweisser
I really did not understand this one at all. Large portions of the plot are left hanging and never resolved. Characters do not ring true, whole thing seemed very phony.
LibraryThing member SeriousGrace
What is a memory when it can be tainted or changed by the emotional upheaval of growing up? By grief? Ellen's favorite cousin, killed in the final days of World War II, leaves a lasting impression on her young life and ultimately shapes her future world. Randall's death is profound on multiple
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levels. He leaves Ellen his diary and a book called The Gardens of Kyoto, his most meaningful possessions. The parallel between the Gardens of Kyoto that fascinated Randall and Ellen's present-day reality is in the illusion: of what is really there before your eyes. Ellen goes through life constantly questioning Randall's influences.
There is a subtle resilience to Walbert's writing; an understated strength and grace to her words.
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Connecticut Book Award (Winner — Fiction — 2002)



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