The Savage Garden
Putnam, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Tim Davis
rt history graduate student Adam Strickland has been given the research opportunity of a lifetime. Because of a recommendation from his academic mentor, Professor Crispin Leonard, Strickland is traveling from London to Tuscany - to the Villa Docci, an Italian Renaissance estate - where he will study the art and architecture of the villa's highly stylized and mysteriously ornamented garden.
hen Strickland arrives, however, and when he begins his research and analysis, he soon has the sense that he is either intruding upon or being seductively drawn into a place that is forbidden and dangerous. If Strickland's instincts are correct - although they may be wrong - the Docci family and the villa both seem to be haunted by the past as if by some curse. Quickly Strickland suspects that Villa Docci and the mysterious gardens are a bit like Pandora's Box, and sometimes - Strickland belatedly discovers - perhaps '
it's better to ignore the whispers inside the box.
' Moreover, what Strickland first presumed to have been something like a lost Eden is in reality '
a far more savage garden,
' and Strickland himself may be something more than an innocent and uninvolved visitor.
ich in literary allusions (especially to Ovid and Dante), Mark Mills'
The Savage Garden
deftly explores the past and present worlds of a fractured family and community, worlds in which intrigues, deceits, and unusual deaths continue to trouble everyone who comes in contact with the garden. Written by the immensely talented author of
, this top-notch novel successfully combines gripping suspense and ingenious plotting with literary quality. Don't miss it!
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