The Samurai's Garden

The Samurai's Garden

A Novel

eBook - 2008
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The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family's summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu's secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight. Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world, and Stephen is a noble student, learning to appreciate Matsu's generous and nurturing way of life and to love Matsu's soulmate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.
Publisher: 2008
ISBN: 9781429965149
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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Jul 14, 2019

Very lovely and moving. I especially liked how the author makes the smallest exchanges between people and even descriptions of everyday chores interesting and telling. This would have received a much higher rating from me except I think the author laid too much on this beautiful book's thin shoulders thematically: love, war, loyalty, family relationships, marriage, spirituality, coming-of-age, honor - Tsukiyama addressed them all and then some. A little less and this would have been a lot more.

Apr 07, 2019

Beautifully written and incredibly moving.

Oct 22, 2018

I read this book years ago and will read it again. So beautifully written. I wish this author would write more. I have read her other books..all are very good. She is one of my all time favourites!

Sep 17, 2018

this book is amazing! i read it first and then recommended it to my mom and dad and they both loved it as well! Beautifully written.

Feb 24, 2018

A compelling story that stays with you. I recommend this book to my friends often. It's a unique story that, for me, inspired a new perspective on what it means to love and the choices we make that compromise our love. It's an easy book to read and one worth picking up.

Jul 08, 2016

This book came highly recommended, but for me it missed the mark. I did like it, but found the monotone of the narrative jarring. The story covers the horrendous atrocities of the Sino-Japanese War, a suicide, the ostracism of lepers out of the village, the breakup of Stephen's parents, the decades-long hidden love of Matsu and Sachi, and the recovery of Stephen from tuberculosis - a lot to issues that all get a calm gloss thrown over them. It seems that maybe surface and the patina of beauty is everything, and undertones, especially unsavoury ones, must remain covered. There are two gardens that figure in the story. They are not at all comparable in any way except for the salve to the spirit that they provide to those receptive to it. Gentleness, beauty, calm are on every page, and for me became somewhat tedious and unrealistic. I am in the minority on this one so bow to the other reviewers who must be much more perceptive and receptive than I.

Nov 27, 2015

Gentle book, beautifully written, that perfectly captures the Japanese spirit. Stephen, a young Chinese man with TB, goes to his family's beach house in a small Japanese village to recuperate. The Sino-Japanese war is raging, his parents' marriage is falling apart. The family's longtime Japanese retainer and a mysterious woman who lives in the mountains help Stephen weather the storms.Highly recommmended.

Oct 22, 2015

Great quick read.

Jun 30, 2015

Lovely, lyrical. It flows at just the right speed. One of my all-time favourites.

Nov 13, 2014

Poetic, beautiful; my favorite book by this talented writer.

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Sep 17, 2018

blue_eagle_1415 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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