The Hanging Garden: Book summary and reviews of The Hanging Garden by Patrick White

The Hanging Garden

by Patrick White

The Hanging Garden by Patrick White X
The Hanging Garden by Patrick White
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published May 2013
    240 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

From the Nobel Prize-winning author of The Eye of the Storm comes a vivid, visceral tale of childhood friendship and sexual awakening from beyond the echoes of World War II.

Sydney, Australia, 1942. Two children, on the cusp of adolescence, have been spirited away from the war in Europe and given shelter in a house on Neutral Bay, taken in by the charity of an old widow who wants little to do with them. The boy, Gilbert, has escaped the Blitz. The girl, Eirene, lost her father in a Greek prison. Left to their own devices, the children forge a friendship of startling honesty, forming a bond of uncommon complexity that they sense will shape their destinies for years to come.

The first part of an unfinished novel, The Hanging Garden is a breathtaking and fully satisfying work that reads as a complete story. Seamlessly shifting among points of view, and written in dazzling prose, Patrick White's mastery of style and highly inventive storytelling will transport you as the work of few writers can.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [The Hanging Garden is] a complete, complex, and beautiful portrait, an important addition to classic contemporary fiction." - Publishers Weekly

"Even in context, a fragmented work, primarily of interest to White completists." - Kirkus Reviews

"One of the most vivid, erotically charged, emotionally wrenching works of fiction I've read this century." - The Canberra Times (Australia)

"White's novels [are] boldly ambitious, inventive, sensual, eloquent…shrewd and tender about its two protagonists." - The Spectator (UK)

"The late, virtuosic performance of a master. Here is White conjuring in 200 pages one of the most vivid, erotically charged, emotionally wrenching works of fiction, I've read this century." - The Age (Australia)

"The Hanging Garden returns fiction to greatness. Reading it brings exhilaration, tinged with dismay at our diminished expectations of the literary novel ... A gift." - The Monthly (Australia)

"White's incessant questions - Is there anything beyond the physical world? May there be loving human unions beyond the carnal? - are posed here in ways as profound and subtle as anywhere else in his work. The Hanging Garden recalls us to the truth that great novels are those where the free play of the author's imagination reveals the fetters of gender or caste we wear in reality." - The Australian

"Here, too, is the Sydney of White's childhood - lush, humid, sensual, a magic place in which children might hide themselves…It is an elegant, elegiac ending to a work that - however conceived in its full extent—brims with freshness and acuity. The Hanging Garden may be unfinished, but it does not feel incomplete." - Peter Pierce, The Canberra Times

"Always engaging and intermittently brilliant." - Australian Book Review

This information about The Hanging Garden was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Patrick White

Patrick White was born in England 1912 and raised in Australia. He became the most revered figure in modern Australian literature, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973. He died in September 1990.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more literary fiction...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Big Red
    Big Red
    by Jerome Charyn
    Jerome Charyn made his name as an author of detective novels, and over the years he has taken his ...
  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire Season
    Fire Season
    by Leyna Krow
    Fire Season is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that touches upon multiple genres and themes. It ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Bell in the Lake
by Lars Mytting
The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village's mystical church bells.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Our Missing Hearts
    by Celeste Ng

    From the author of Little Fires Everywhere, the inspiring new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

G R T Bad R

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.