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Mr Darwin's Gardener
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A postmodern Victorian novel about faith, knowledge and our inner needs. The late 1870s, the Kentish village of Downe. The villagers gather in church one rainy Sunday. Only Thomas Davies stays away. The eccentric loner, father of two and a grief-stricken widower, works as a gardener for the notorious naturalist, Charles Darwin. He shuns religion. But now Thomas needs answers. What should he believe in? And why should he continue to live? ------ Why Peirene chose to publish this book: 'This is Peirene's most poetic book yet. A tale of God, grief and talking chickens. Like Dylan Thomas in Under Milk Wood, Carlson evokes the voices of an entire village, and, through them, the spirit of the age. This is no page-turner, but a story to be inhabited, to be savoured slowly.' Meike Ziervogel, Publisher
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About the Author

Kristina Carlson, born in 1949, has published 16 books in her native Finland. She is a highly popular children's author and her three novels have assured her a wide adult readership and huge critical acclaim. She has won The Finlandia Prize and Finland's State Prize for Literature.

Reviews

OBSERVER BEST HOLIDAY READS 2013 'The translation is terrific and the author's grasp of England circa 1880 is utterly convincing.' Salley Vickers, OBSERVER ------ 'It's hard to believe this novel originated in another country. But it did, and the way Carlson shows us to ourselves should make us wonder.' Nicholas Lezard, GUARDIAN ------ 'An imaginative series of insights into the outer and inner lives of the inhabitants of the village of Downe in Kent in the 1870's.' Rosemary Ashton, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT ------ 'Allow layers of meaning to emerge after you finish reading, and you may be rewarded.' Harriet Paterson, TABLET ------ 'Whether it's Thomas Davies out in his vegetable field or my grandmother pruning roses, gardens are full of hope. An outward sign of an inward grace? Or is the material world all there is?' Laura Keynes, STANDPOINT

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