The house is liveable by local standards but the job of restoring the garden is too big, it requires strength. Juliet cannot bring it to life on her own.
Around the olive tree, hidden beneath the covering of bindweeds, are mattresses, broken chairs, shepherds' crooks, and old goat bells, the remains of past lives intertwined in a slow decay. The beauty of the garden is lost with the years of neglect and no one to appreciate it.
Juliet reluctantly enlists casual labour. She has no desire to share her world with anyone. The boys have grown, Mick has gone. This is her time now.
Aaman has travelled to Greece from Pakistan illegally. His task is to find work and raise money for the harvester his village desperately needs to deliver them out of poverty. Poverty that is sending the younger generation to the cities, dividing families, and slowly destroying his community.
What he imagined would be a heroic journey in reality is fraught with danger and corruption. He finds himself in Greece and follows the work, a little here, a little there. As time passes he loses his sense of self, he is now an immigrant worker, illegal, displaced, unwanted, with no value. Some days he does not have enough money to feed himself, let alone to return home to Pakistan.
In the village square, he waits for work, dawn not even broken.
Juliet hires Aaman.
Neither is entirely comfortable with their role. Juliet the Westerner, with money and a valid passport, even though she wants her garden clearing resents the intrusion. Aaman needs the work and money but resents the humiliation.
As the summer progresses, even though they are from vastly different backgrounds, cultures apart, they discover they have something in common, an event that has defined how they interact and even how they view themselves. Pieces of their lives they have kept hidden even from themselves are exposed. Each is the other's catalyst to facing their own ghosts.
|Initally, I wondered where this could be going. Then the tension started building and I had to wonder if it could possibly end up where it seemed to be headed. It just didn't seem right.|
It's a love story isn't it? Yes. But not the usual type of love
And then it's over?
You need to read this book this summer. It's just about the perfect summer read. And I need to read at least the next book in the collection to see if this is typical for this author. If it is, she needs to go to the top of my preferred authors list.
The Illegal Gardener
The next two books in the collection are:
Saving Septic Cyril is actually #16 in the collection, but it is the reappearance of Aaman from The Illegal Gardener.