The Savage Garden

Hey all, I finished The Savage Garden by Mark Mills last night, and wanted to share a short review:


The Savage Garden is about Cambridge student Adam Strickland and his time spent at a Florentine villa, studying the art of its grand garden as a summer research project. Villa Docci is beautiful, but haunted by secrets: the mysterious death 400 years before of the young wife of the villa’s owner and the death of Signora Docci’s eldest son, Emilio, 15 years before, at the end of WWII. Adam strives to unlock the secret of the garden and discover the true circumstances under which Emilio was killed – before he becomes another victim of the villa. I really enjoyed this novel: visualizing the beautiful architecture and gardens of Florence, the Italian lifestyle post-WWII, and the mystery of secrets hidden in plain sight. The weaving of history, art, architecture, Dante, and mythology are utterly engrossing and fascinating. I don’t really understand why some reviewers felt that the novel was overshadowed by its sex scenes; yes there was sex in the novel, but nothing too lewd or graphic. I’ve read novels where the sex was raunchy and unnecessary, but this was not such a novel. And being a college-aged male, spending 2-3 weeks in a foreign country alone, it was not out of character at all for our protagonist to have sex. Nonetheless, good book, definitely recommend.

Life in general time: Today was a long day. I recently (re)joined the YMCA as I am so out of shape and completely unhappy with the state of my appearance from college weight gain. So I was at the gym for about an hour this morning, then I had to come back, shower, get ready, and then make food for work, as well as make some lunch to eat. Then there was work, though tiring, was kind of exciting today because I got a key to the library (no more knocking on the door mornings i have to open!). Also, one of my co-workers bought me one of the nice library bags that the Friends of the Library sell (Thanks Becky!!) It was a really sweet thing to do, and it’s a nice bag.

That’s all for now. I’m exhausted, so it is definitely time to hit the hay. Good night!

Update: I decided to make my 2009 Book list post an actual page, located at the top of my blog, right next to the About Me. This way the list is easier to locate, and I don’t have to keep updating the date of the actual post to make it more visible. Not sure what I’m going to do with the actual post…may leave it where it is for now, and then update it to New Year’s Day 2010 when we get there.


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