“That’s when I heard it — the snap of a twig under soft footsteps, and the sound of a whisper. I sat up in bed and peeked out the window, my heart drumming against my chest.” – Kamala Nair, The Girl in the Garden
What exactly is within the dark gardens beyond the stone wall? What strange, strong force has drawn Rakhee’s mother, and now Rakhee herself, back to India? Find out in The Girl in the Garden, the enchanting new novel that is our July Book of the Month.
Kamala Nair’s debut novel starts with the narrator, Rakhee Singh, saying this in a letter to her fiance, “By the time you read this I will be flying over the Atlantic on my way to India.” Juicy, right? The bulk of the story then goes back to the summer when Rakhee is 10 years old and first visited India. After receiving mysterious handwritten letters from India, Rakhee’s mother begins acting erratically. Rahkee is resistant to leave her father and dog behind in their quiet Midwestern suburb as her mother insists on journeying to India.
After arriving at the run-down mansion that her mother grew up in, it’s not long before Rakhee senses a mysterious force about the property. She catches her mother and aunt climbing over the estate’s stone wall nights and witnesses them tired and dazed in the mornings. Then, Rahkee hears of tales of a Hindu goddess preying on children from within the depths of the garden. With a series of twists and turns, we watch as Rakhee grows and changes. We soon understand her yearning to leave her fiance to return to India and settle the score.
Nair’s writing is rich and compelling. While the narrative structure “tells” much more often than it “shows,” the voice of Rakhee is distinct enough and the plot is engaging enough that reading the very descriptive text is quite delightful. The Girl in the Garden is a perfect summer read!
Speaking of summer reading, want to win a copy of this book for the beach, a long car trip, or a rainy day? Leave a comment in response to our discussion question, you’ll have a chance to win The Girl in the Garden! Better yet, one lucky winner will receive the book in a ModCloth tote filled with goodies!
Discussion question: Have you ever been spirited away by a far away place? Describe it.
- You have until Monday, July 18th, 2011 to participate.
- Though you may leave comments after the above date, any comments left after 11:59 p.m. ET on July 18th will not be counted into the giveaway.
- Only comments left on this blog post will be counted.
- We will contact you via e-mail if you are a winner.
- For more information, please see our Contests & Comments page.
Also, if you purchase the book from us, leave your own review of the book right here on the site, or on our Goodreads group!