Tan Twan Eng’s second novel is a tantalisingly evocative mystery set in Malaya in the late 1940s, a country in recovery from the Second World War.
Malay, 1949. Law graduate Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the plantations of the Cameron Highlands. Here she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its creator, the secretive Aritomo. He agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice so that she can design her own garden as a memorial to her sister. But over time the jungle starts to reveal secrets of its own.
Complex and deeply moving, Tan Twan Eng’s novel, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, is a near-perfect work of mesmerizing beauty
In 2020, Tan Twan Eng’s novel was adapted into a film, also titled The Garden of Evening Mists.
It starred Sylvia Chang and Abe Hiroshi, and received nine nominations at the 56th Golden Horse Awards.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Elizabeth Kerr said the film ‘finds a way to tackle (however lightly) some thorny issues, maintaining a leisurely pace without ever becoming turgid’.