Early on in the evocative new novel, The Garden of Evening Mists, the protagonist Teoh Yun Ling comes across an arresting pair of statues in her friend's tea estate gardens. It is only fitting that one of them is Mnemosyne, the Greek goddess of memory. The other one, Teoh Yun Ling is told, is her twin, the goddess of forgetting. This vignette might well capture the premise of this fantastic novel by Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng - that we spend almost our entire lives trying to find harmony between the twin pillars of memory and forgetfulness.
It is the late '80s and Yun Ling, a prominent Supreme Court justice in independent Malaysia has just retired and moved back from Kuala Lumpur, the country's capital, to her home in the country's highlands. "Yun Ling has been recently diagnosed with aphasia and she retires so that she can document her past while she still has a fairly firm grip ...
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