My Rating: ★★★★☆

Author: Kamala Nair

Narrated by: Anitha Gandhi

Published by: Hachette Audio

Length: 8 hrs., 49 mins.

My Review: I love when audiobooks surprise me, and The Girl in the Garden definitely did. Kamala Nair’s debut novel follows the dark family history of Rakhee Singh. The story begins as Rakhee removes her engagement ring and starts to write to her fiancee. She believes he needs to know the truth, but in actuality, Rakhee needs to let someone into her life, into the darkness of her family’s past.

Rakhee knows something is not right between her parents, Amma and Aba. Amma had been receiving letters from India and Rakhee would hear her crying alone after receiving them. What did the letters say? Who were they from? What could they possibly say to make Amma cry so much?

Once school was out for the year, Rakhee’s mother whisked her away to India to visit their family. Although she’s upset to leave Aba behind in Minnesota, she immediately clicks with her cousins, especially Krishna. They spend most of that summer playing, planning a play and being normal children. But when Rakhee wonders into the mysterious garden, she uncovers dark family secrets that have been tucked away for over 15 years. She keeps her adventures to the garden to herself, knowing that if she tells anyone, her family would never forgive her for disobeying them. The garden is off limits to the outside world and only a handful know what lies behind the vine covered stone wall.

Listen to the author, Kamala Nair, describe the novel in her own words.

This novel kept me on the edge of my seat constantly wondering what would happen next and what could be so awful to be hidden in the garden. Nair does a wonderful job of weaving history, suspense, family dynamics and mystery into her novel. I hope to see more from her in the future!

Narrator Review: Anitha Gandi has a beautiful voice! She kept the characters distinct and true to their Indian dialect. Her youthful sounds made the children’s dialog more alive and painted vivid picture of Rakhee and her family.

Download The Girl in the Garden by Kamala Nair at Audible or Hachette Audio. 

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this audiobook from the publisher.