Read The Illegal Gardener by Sara Alexi Online


Librarian's Note: Alternate-cover edition for ASIN: B008LMT78U The Illegal Gardener is the first book in the Greek Village Collection from INTERNATIONAL BEST SELLING AUTHOR Sara Alexi.The Illegal Gardener is a moving, poignant story about life's rare encounters which knock us off our path, and elevate our very existence.Driven by a need for some control in her life, JulieLibrarian's Note: Alternate-cover edition for ASIN: B008LMT78UThe Illegal Gardener is the first book in the Greek Village Collection from INTERNATIONAL BEST SELLING AUTHOR Sara Alexi.The Illegal Gardener is a moving, poignant story about life's rare encounters which knock us off our path, and elevate our very existence.Driven by a need for some control in her life, Juliet sells up on impulse and buys a run down farmhouse in a tiny Greek village, leaving her English life behind. Her boys have grown and she has finally divorced her bullying husband. This is her time now.Whilst making her new home habitable, Juliet discovers she needs a sturdy helping hand with the unruly and neglected garden. Unwilling to share her newfound independence with anyone, but unable to do all the work by herself, she reluctantly enlists casual labour.Aaman has travelled to Greece from Pakistan illegally. Desperate to find a way out of poverty, his challenge is to find work and raise money for the harvester his village urgently need to survive.What he imagined would be a heroic journey in reality is fraught with danger and corruption. Aaman finds himself in Greece, and with each passing day loses a little more of himself as he survives his new life as an immigrant worker; illegal, displaced, unwanted and with no value. Hungry and stranded, how will he ever make it back home to Pakistan?In what begins as an uncomfortable exchange, Juliet hires Aaman to be her gardener, but resents the intrusion even though she needs the help. Aaman needs the work and money but resents the humiliation.In spite of themselves, as the summer progresses, they get to know one another and discover they have something in common. Pieces of their lives they have kept hidden even from themselves are exposed, with each helping the other to face their painful past.Will Juliet and Amaan finally let each other in? And what will be the outcome of this improbable conjoining of two lost souls?If you enjoyed The Illegal Gardener you'll love book two in the series, Black Butterflies. Find it on Amazon now!...

Title : The Illegal Gardener
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 29675054
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 290 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Illegal Gardener Reviews

  • Christine
    2019-04-15 08:18

    A dear Goodreads friend recommended this book to me; otherwise, I would have never noticed it. It turned out to be a wonderful novel, so thank you, David, for bringing it to my attention. The Illegal Gardener is number one in a series of 19 books focused on the population of a small village in Greece. This was a different story for me, and is so elegantly told by author Sara Alexi. It is totally character driven, focusing on the relationship between a British Greek-English translator named Juliet and Aaman, her illegal Pakistani “houseboy”, 16 years her junior. These two, initially separated by class, come to respect and deeply care for one another. Despite their obvious differences, they find a lot of common ground. This is not a romance novel, but a subtle telling of what becomes a profound friendship, which almost certainly will last a lifetime. There is surprising depth to the story. Issues addressed include: fate being tied to a person’s mother’s birthplace; the oppression of class differences; the struggle, indignities and lack of opportunity faced by those wishing to start over in a different land; and how a little help for an unfortunate individual can result in a total turnaround of life circumstances. Ms. Alexi is an accomplished writer. Her prose is beautiful, but certainly not overdone. She magically transports the reader into the setting, giving one a real flavor of Greek life and landscape. The scenes involving living conditions of the poor and gritty detention centers are just as vivid. I felt I was there. It is clear to me the author also did a tremendous amount of research into the various themes of the story. Everything about the novel felt very realistic. The book lost a star from me as it took a while to draw me in. Initially, I did not like Juliet—she was off putting. As the story progressed, she began to see her flaws and I could finally root for her. There is no real mystery, but there were tense moments in the narrative. Even if there had been no major tension at all, the relationship between Juliet and Aaman easily propelled the tale for me. I do not want to fail to mention that I loved the running side commentary about the little cat family that adopted Juliet.I highly recommend The Illegal Gardener to readers looking for a moving character-driven novel about the unlikely development of a powerful relationship. I am definitely interested in reading more of this fine series.

  • Sara Alexi
    2019-03-24 09:02

    I am so thrilled to see my book on Goodreads and thank you to all the people who have loved it and rated it and have left feedback here. It really does make a difference when readers share their views. Once again thanks you.

  • David Staniforth
    2019-04-17 05:00

    This was a book I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did. The day before going on holiday my email landed from Bookbub and I had a look to see what was on offer. The Illegal Gardener was amongst the selection and it was free. To be honest the cover was what drew me in, and after a read of the look inside – quite liking the writing style – I thought it’d make a pleasant holiday read. If it turned out to not be my cup-of-tea, I thought my wife would at least appreciate it.Well, it was much more than a pleasant read: by the second chapter I was hooked and simply struggled to put it down. Fortunately, with nothing more pressing than sunning by the pool, I didn’t have too. The setting, despite what it says on the Goodreads' book page, is Greece, and maybe lazing in the sun added to the quality of that aspect, but I felt as if I was there due to such delicious descriptive writing. The character development is marvellous and allows us to gradually get to know the main two characters. Moreover the development encompasses their growing relationship and adjusts accordingly in a very believable manner.Were this a pure romance story of a woman looking for a new path having rehomed from England to Greece, it would not have held my interest, but there is a level of depth that takes it beyond pure romance. There is a serious side, which makes the reader consider the issue regarding Western wealth and the desire of poorer countries to have similar opportunities.Overall, an enjoyable, entertaining and thought provoking read, which I highly recommend. I will certainly be on the lookout for more of this author’s books.

  • Phyllis Eisenstadt
    2019-04-19 10:17

    Beautiful Narrative, May 21, 2017 Phyllis EisenstadtThis is a book that does not draw you in with a "hook" of any sort, so that at times you just want to give up and put it down. Then, slowly but surely, without even noticing it, you become more involved with the characters, as the author imbues them with more depth. The two main characters are of different ethnic backgrounds, speak different languages, and come from entirely different cultures. Yet, Ms. Alexi manages to merge the differences into a profound learning experience for both protagonists. Juliet, the English female protagonist and homeowner finds herself gifted with a talented gardener whom she sometimes introduces as her houseboy. Aaman, an impoverished Pakistani gardener enters her life in ways that are charming and totally unexpected. They each possess knowledge and traits that are passed on one to the other, sometimes subtly, sometimes directly.The story takes place in Greece -- a country Juliet had visited some years ago, and to which she longed to return. The house she bought was in dire need of repairs, and Aaman, unable to find employment could not believe his good fortune when he was hired by Juliet and discovered the giving nature even she didn't know she possessed.For the reader, there is much tension in their relationship -- not sexual tension, but the tension of a dubious friendship between a single upper class English woman and a married, lower financial class Pakistani. Yet, Ms. Alexi makes it come together, tenderly, in a thoroughly believable manner. I loved this book and found it replete with Grecian flavor and thoroughly enjoyable.Get out the box of tissues!

  • Sandra Mccarty
    2019-03-27 04:59

    I was not hooked in the first chapter of this book. In fact, I made myself read the second chapter, but by the third chapter I couldn't find enough time to read it! Not to give anything away, I want to express my appreciation to Sara Alexi for how she handled the friendship between this sensitive woman and man, and how class and cultural differences didn't keep them from becoming friends in the truest sense. It was a refreshing break from what this story could have been, and I disagree that the ending was predictable. In the end this story is about healing, forgiving oneself, keeping hope, but most of all it's a reminder of how life changing a true friend can be, no matter how short our interaction may be with this other person. I am looking forward to reading other books by this author. I hope that her other books are as enchanting and thought provoking as this one.

  • Dorine
    2019-03-27 10:05

    THE ILLEGAL GARDENER by Sara Alexi is the perfect title for this book. Gardening is one of my favorite themes in books, and this one made me happy with vivid descriptions in Greece.Why was this book in Dorine’s TBR? I collect books with gardening, healing, or farming themes and locations. This cover caught my eye several times before I downloaded it for free during an Amazon promotion. I hesitated to read it, because it was an indie published title. I’ve read several in need of an editor, which frustrates me. Thankfully, this book was easy to read without nit-picking. Mostly, I just wanted to rush ahead to see what happens next.I read a large number of new-to-me authors, so it was hard to find another one to read for this month’s TBR Challenge with Wendy the Super Librarian. Sometimes I just want the comfort of a familiar author and this was one of those months. Imagine my surprise when I found this author’s style just as comforting as someone tried and true.Join the discussion at my blog, The Zest Quest.First, let me warn you that although this book may be considered romantic, it doesn’t meet the standard expectations of romance readers, and it may make a few mad when they suspect infidelity. It all makes sense by the end, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, including the surprise ending, but it’s listed as literary, which suits it beautifully.THE ILLEGAL GARDENER has an old world feel to it. I felt like I was in Greece from the very beginning. It could easily satisfy historical lovers who are attempting some contemporary fiction. There are a few modern conveniences like cars, computers or cell phones, but for the most part, this book has an etched-in-time aura.Divorcee Juliet buys a run-down home in Greece and plans to renovate it with some help. She’s self-employed as a translator, doing most of her work online. Juliet hires two men in town, who she suspects are Pakistan illegals, to work in her dilapidated garden. After one day, she’s most impressed with Aaman and asks him to continue to work for her inside and outside her home.Aaman is starving and hoping to earn enough money to help his village buy a harvester. He’s married and misses his family very much. Juliet is kind, but she also has a similar painful past to Aaman. Soon they find that they have much in common and begin to develop a deep friendship.With all the political nonsense going on right now, I thought it was appropriate to read something from the illegal’s point of view. It’s an engaging and emotional story that could take place anywhere, but I really loved the Greek characters mixed with so many illegals from other countries. It gave this book authenticity and a human element that is heart-breaking in part, while being uplifting in how the characters heal from the experience.Emotionally riveting and character driven, THE ILLEGAL GARDENER will make you think. I gasped at Juliet and Aaman’s sacrifices. From the excerpts included at the end of this book, I’m anxious to continue the series, especially to find out more about Marina the shopkeeper in book two, BLACK BUTTERFLIES.I can easily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a softly literary story, enriched with tough choices and the healing aspects of working with your hands. It’s not an over-the-edge literary contemporary, so I think romance readers may like it for a change of pace.Review by Dorine, courtesy of The Zest Quest. Digital copy provided for free by the author in an Amazon promotion.

  • Alex Calothis
    2019-03-29 12:21

    I loved the Illegal GardenerWhat a great book! I couldn't put this down and am looking forward to more from this author. It's a character novel and the tension and interest is built through the interactions between the protagonists rather than with direct action, which I find much more skilfull and engaging.I connected with and cared about the characters and went through a series of emotions, and cried at one point. This is a gentle, subtle book which nonetheless addresses some pretty weighty themes, touching on human frailty, love, life and fate.Central to the theme of the book is the issue of how our place of birth dictates so much about how our life will pan out. The two main characters come from very different backgrounds, one wealthy and privileged and one dirt poor, but they both wind up in the same village and they discover that they are not sodifferent after all - life presents challenges to them equally, and along the way they both learn somethingabout themselves.Maybe I'm biased being half Greek, but the descriptions of Greek village life that make up the backdrop of this lovely story really bring the tale to life and made me laugh out loud.The humour that runs through this book beautifully offsets the difficult themes that it addresses.Highly recommended!

  • Brenda
    2019-04-09 08:13

    The Illegal Gardener is evocative of sunny Greece where not everything is paradise and people's lives go down paths they didn't anticipate. Aaman and Juliet, the main characters of the story, find an unexpected harbour within their friendship. I love how this story is not stereotypical, but shows a fresh take on relationships and the lengths people will go for the ones they love. The writing is beautiful. You can almost smell the sea and feel the sun on your skin as you read. I'm highly impressed with this debut novel from an author I know I will return to again and again. This is Book One in the Greek Village Series, and I'm very much anticipating the next one. Well done! Highly recommended.

  • Michael Gallagher
    2019-04-07 09:12

    Anything about Greece attracts me so I picked up this book. From the very first pages, I was drawn into the deep environment created by the author. Having lived in Greece, I recognized all of the sights, smells, sounds and experiences of the small Greek village. What surprised me the most about the book was the depth of research concerning the ingenuity applied by poor illegal entrants to Europe to secure their transport to money earning destinations. Sometimes the present tense narrative annoyed me, but maybe I am a purest.The author also captured an aspect of Greece that is little discussed; namely, that Greece sits on the middle ground between East and West. Perhaps only in Greece could a friendship such as the warm relationship between Juliet, the main character, and Aaman, her houseboy be possible. Remarkably, for a story without suspense, I could not put this book down. I look forward to reading more of this new rising star.The Illegal Gardener

  • Fabi
    2019-04-20 06:59

    Gostei deste livro. Num registo diferente é uma boa história sobre um refugiado e uma mulher de meia idade. Um bom momento de leitura.

  • Sandy
    2019-03-24 09:25

    I loved the setting in a small Greek village and I loved the premise of the middle-aged English woman looking for a new start in life in a place she fell in love with 20 years earlier. And individually the characters were so promising: Juliet, the Brit who purchases the wonderful old run down farmhouse; Aaman, the Paskistani illegal looking to earn the money for a harvester for his village back home; Michelle the faithful friend who has stood by Juliet through so much. It was the interaction of these characters that seemed unrealistic and forced and, frankly, hard for me to swallow. Could Aaman and Juliet really develop the relationship they do in such a short time? Would Michelle honestly remain friends with someone she has not seen in 20 years and who never is the one who makes any contact? My absolute favorite part of the book was the description of the village Easter festival. And the descriptions of the plight of the illegals was timely and interesting and sad. But that's not enough to make me want to read any more of the books in this series.

  • Una Tiers
    2019-04-18 07:00

    The first half of this book had flowing language and a conflict that was unique and tender. Cultural differences were highlighted. Some potential descriptions were glossed over. Then, the happy ending ruined the book.

  • Rute gonçalves
    2019-03-30 12:12

    Duas personagens ,dois mundos destinos,dois traumas passados quase idênticos.Prevalece a cima de tudo o companheirismos entre o casal da historia,de uma escrita simples este romance levo me a bonita aldeia da Grécia.

  • Annie Falconer-Gronow
    2019-04-01 10:57

    This book is far from my normal genre. Lured by the blurb and the promise of a vividly written picture of Greek life, I was sold. Like the main character, I too lost my heart to the country and it's peoples and culture in my early twenties. True, it is a beautifully descriptive novel, and one can almost feel the warmth and smell the earth. But aside from the powerful imagery, lies a subtle and rather painful story that most westerners would rather not hear. As the borders to most western countries sag with illegal immigrants, we often ignore their individual plights over the enormity of the situation. Just this one, small and courageous character does help crystalize the plot, and whether the story is true of just one real immigrant, it must be at least close to the truth for thousands more. It is a touching and heartening story with a solid and believable ending; getting a five star high five from me for not adding a sexual theme and shattering a realistic relationship and cultural divides.

  • Christina
    2019-04-06 05:01

    Ugh, this is so hard to rate. I still haven't figured out if I really liked it or not. I don't dislike it as a whole, so there's that.I only read this because with all the children's books I've been reading I felt like I ought to read a "grown-up book" and this was free and seemed like it might be a little bit interesting, if nothing else for the look at Greek culture, although unfortunately in the end I did not think it immersed you into Greek life as much as some reviewers seem to claim.The writing style was irritating at times. Lots of telling, sometimes telling completely boring and unnecessary details. Long periods with no dialogue and solitary characters, but you didn't really get into their heads. Thoughts and feelings were told sometimes, but like a hard and cold statement. Past events are hinted at as they effect things in the present but revealed slowly and in disjointed bits and pieces in the beginning of the book, which I find kind of irritating. There were some of Aaman's actions that didn't make much sense and I hoped they would be explained later but they never were. For a long time, I didn't really feel a connection, but as the book progressed it got a little better. I guess that went with the main characters, Juliet and Aaman, becoming more open with each other and developing their relationship.There are several cases of the two spilling their guts about a particular event in their lives and having marvelous, sudden mental revelations. In my opinion those came off as hard to believe. Phony.I was nervous at first when I came to Goodreads and saw one of the genres listed is Romance. The book description made that seem like a possibility, but didn't confirm it. I'm not a romance fan and was hesitant to go on, but it turns out that the "romance" is very light, almost nonexistent until you get towards the book's end, and even then nothing actually happens. Juliet has a history of failed relationships and carries some of that baggage, but she's trying to put the past behind her. Aaman has only come to Greece to try and earn some money; he plans to return to his home where he has a wife he is dedicated to, as well as his parents and extended family and the rest of his village. It's kind of a joke for most of the book, because Aaman says he'll be Juliet's "house boy" not knowing what other term to use and what kind of stereotypes "house boy" carries. Then Juliet starts having little thoughts, which maybe are inevitable, but she dismisses them all quickly. Near the very end of the book there's a scene where Juliet watches Aaman working outside through the window, and the lusty description of his body just struck me as awkward and out of place, stuck in there as an afterthought to make the book have something "sexy" in it. All of that could have been omitted and the book would not have suffered. It would have improved, in my opinion. Without it you have a nice story of an unlikely friendship and people helping each other achieve their goals, and overcome some mental and emotional obstacles. It was nice to see Aaman succeed at making money, helping his village, excelling in a career that without Juliet's help seemed like a pipe dream. It's nice to see Juliet open up and reconnect with her children. But the friend? I was also hard pressed to believe that anyone would persist in trying to maintain such a one-way relationship for so long.So yeah. Not altogether horrible, I did enjoy it a little, but I can't rate it too highly and it's probably going to be forgotten soon.

  • Silver_Neurotic
    2019-04-05 05:07

    I'm not sure what compelled me to read this novel. While the premise is somewhat interesting (and hints at something possibly steamy) it's not exactly the kind of novel I rush out to read. But it was cheap and sounded somewhat promising so I bought it.It was a good novel. Not anything tremendous. Not good enough to warrant reading follow up novels, but good in that it mostly held my interest. That I didn't hate the characters. It even warranted a vocal sigh when I reached the end, a sigh of contentment that the story ended on a high note. The Illegal Gardener was heavy on the characterizations...which I do enjoy. I like learning about characters, and their psyches...even if they are entirely made up characters...but in this case I felt a teeny bit cheated out on more descriptions of the setting. I mean, if the setting wasn't important, this book could have just as easily took place nondescript location...but it takes place in Greece and that fact does play a pivitol role...but there is a disappointing lack of descriptions. I never really managed to get a sense of where the characters were. I don't need a repeat of Correlli's Mandolin...but still, I would have loved to get a sense of the country...a country I've never visited, but have read a fair bit about, thanks to a lit class I took back in college.Still, the characters did make up for the lack of setting description...enough so that when I heard about the siege at one of Pakistan's airports, I felt an odd sense of sadness that was no doubt remnets of my time spent with Aaman.

  • Linda Fagioli-Katsiotas
    2019-04-09 11:03

    I love everything about this book, including the cover art. But first and foremost it is a very well-written tale. It's also a "love story" like none I've ever read. The author touches on so many topics, and she does it with such skill. In several situations, she alternates paragraphs between perceptions and actions of two separate characters as they experienced their own fears and anxieties, completely different from one another and yet so much alike. She also captures the Greek culture and mentality perfectly. In a desperate moment when Juliet is trying to "save" Aaman from a disastrous fate she is met with disappointment and "the laid back ease that attracted her to Greece is now the very thing that frustrates her," as she navigates the slow moving, ineffective government system. My all time favorite line in the book (and there are many), is when Aaman is sitting in a cafe looking at the other people wondering, "if all the people sitting at this cafe, all struggle in some way, as he is, and if the [store bought] clothes and the casual postures are as thin a veneer as his." Again, I love this book and recommend it whole heartedly.

  • Stephanie
    2019-04-14 07:59

    I selected this book based on the setting, as is my wont. This story is set in (sigh) Greece, and the descriptions of local color are very satisfying. A British woman finds herself after a difficult divorce. She has impulsively bought a little place in Greece. She comes across an illegal immigrant who will help her get her new home in shape. She has no idea how to relate to this man, but he is a dear, darling of a person whom she is, in the end, able to rescue from his hopeless fate. The story of her self-discovery as she learns to relate to and appreciate her "gardener" is very, very well done. I enjoyed every bit of this book. It did remind me of Maeve Binchy's Nights of Rain and Stars, which I also loved.

  • Cacki
    2019-04-15 06:01

    If you love the slow paced life of the seacoast or have ever dreamed of chucking it all for an idyllic life in a tiny village on some far-away island, DO NOT READ the first book in this lovely series or you may find yourself packing up your treasured belongings and buying a one-way airplane ticket! The rich descriptions of the everyday lives of these charming characters grab you and make you feel as though you are walking down the cobblestone paths with them.I downloaded the second in the series before I could miss the smells of the sea, rains, and fruits of the native surroundings.... I dare you not to pour a glass of something quenching as you settle in for a sweet, quaint and wonderful story of friendships, changes and moving on.This one was hard to put down...

  • Shelly
    2019-04-11 12:23

    I liked this more than I thought I would. It was not what I expected either. I downloaded it thinking I was getting something like "Under the Tuscan Sun". It was a little deeper and darker. Very well written. I could feel the sun and heat and see the scenes vividly. Enjoyed the ending as well. It takes courage to forego the "happily-ever-after, girl gets her man" formula and still have a satisfying ending. Enjoyable."They are so tightly packed, they shuffle as one, as if boiling, centres of calm and edges that break away in little flurries." -description of throng of people at church.

  • Marti
    2019-03-24 05:59

    I have read most of the books in this series. I fell in love with Greece thanks to Sara Alexi. Her interesting descriptions of every day characters let you see into real life of the Greek people. You become a part of their community and you have to find out who will be featured next and how everyone's lives intertwine. Always a joy to read every book.

  • suzanne haazen
    2019-03-21 09:04

    Loved It!Fantastic book couldn't put it down. So many lives to find out about and just hope that everything will work out as they want it too. Looking forward to reading more from Sara Alexi

  • Lesley
    2019-04-06 10:25

    A lovely story of friendship that crosses over class and culture. A nice story to read about compassion at such a time in this world!

  • Darlene
    2019-04-19 06:04

    He was from Pakistan and she was from England when their paths crossed in Greece. As cultures and personal histories commingled, it was an absorbing story.

  • Ilene Harris
    2019-04-20 04:07

    I loved The Illegal Gardener, what a wonderful relationship between a newly divorced Juliet coming to Greece from England. Moving into a dilapidated farmhouse, that needs a lot of restoring, just in time along comes Aaman who has traveled to Greece from Pakistan illegally. He needs a job and between the two of them turns her house and garden into something they are both proud of. Along the way he gets arrested before he can make enough money for his harvester that he needs for his village. Juliet makes a considerable effort to find him.

  • Sharon Nelson
    2019-04-18 12:04

    I got this as a freebie from BookBub (if you use an E-Reader, sign up for these daily newsletters! Select your genre and get 3 free-to-cheap book specials every day!) and have to say that even though the reviews were good enough to go ahead and click yes - I still had fairly low expectations. My thought was semi-fluff read... light... good for current high-stress living... a little escape...Pleasantly surprised! The story was not deep in and of itself, not on the surface, but I was fascinated by the immigrant situation in Greece and the surrounding countries. So much hard living in that part of the world...And the main characters, though kept a bit at a distance, were enough to make me wonder where they are now - and really miss them a bit, even a couple of days after closing the book.Not earth-shattering by any means - but it's good. A solidly decent read. I liked it.(amending this review to say that in a nutshell - the story for me became secondary to the culture and politics of that part of the world, and my fascination with those aspects overrode the author's lack on the other. That said - there was also something refreshing about not being forced to live through the characters' emotional drama, since the storyline was somewhat under-developed)

  • Sanhita
    2019-04-15 08:13

    Can not sum it up just as a feel-good book. It does contain feel-good factor but that's not all, the book has much more to offer. It analyses human relations beautifully and realistically.The books starts slowly and does not pick up a very fast pace at any point but still holds the reader's interest. It's human compassion and a heart which is open to understand the the needs and feelings at the other end, which finally makes a difference. This is what is taught to the well to do, translator, recently divorced Juliet, by Amaan, the illegal immigrant from Pakistan, by simple day to day actions and expressions. Juliet, who had closed her eyes to everything else, everyone else's viewpoints learns to reach out and starts on a more fulfilling life. On the other hand, Juliet's generosity gives Amaan a new life, which he could only dream of. Very readable.

  • Joan
    2019-04-06 08:21

    I normally shudder when I open a book and discover it's in first person/present tense. More often than not, it's an indication that the book is about a self-centred, vapid, immature female whinging on about her life and boyfriends and involves every last booooring detail of her day, from waking in her designer pyjamas to curling up in bed at night to dream about 'Mr Right' (or whoever her latest fantasy character is!)NOT this book! Wow. This is powerful stuff. Punchy, gut-wrenching, realistic, believable.The story is so simple and elegant, and yet beautifully written that I finished reading with a sigh of sheer satisfaction.A short review, because it is hard to write a lot about a story that is so moving, so 'perfect' and that flows so well. I will be looking for other books by this author.

  • Khurshid
    2019-04-21 05:58

    The Illegal Gardener by Sara Alexi took me by surprise. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I loved the way Sara Alexi weaves the story around Juliet and Aaman, two very different characters, struggling with their personal life's situations and building a bond bordering on a strong friendship with a tinge of love which both of them hesitate to show openly to each other.The setting of a small village in Greece added its own charm to the story and narration which was fast and smooth. The supporting characters did not take away the attention from the story. Each and every one was interweaved only where necessary.Right from the first page it had gripped my interest and was difficult to put it down, and pick it up eagerly when time permitted. Reading all her books is on my list.

  • Rebecca Stonehill
    2019-04-06 07:17

    This was a really interesting book. Written in the present tense, Sara Alexi has a distinctive and unique voice, quite unlike any other book I've read. The story was character rather than plot driven and so, over the course of the book, we really feel we get to know the two main characters, Juliet and Aaman well and I was touched by the nuances of their relationship and the words left unspoken between them.The reason I knocked a star off was because I really wanted a space break between different sections (when it jumped from one time to another) but this very often didn't come. It may sound like a small thing but I found it distracting and for me it impeded its flow.A great achievement though and wonderful book, well done Sara.