The Gardener of Baghdad by Ahmad Ardalan

The Gardener of Baghdad

Two people, one city, different times; connected by a memoir. Can love exist in a city destined for decades of misery? Adnan leads a weary existence as a bookshop owner in modern-day, war-torn Baghdad, where bombings, corruption and assault are everyday occurrences and the struggle to survive has suffocated the joy out of life for most. But when he begins to clean out his bookshop of forty years to leave his city in search of somewhere safer, he ...

Details The Gardener of Baghdad

TitleThe Gardener of Baghdad
Release DateMar 16th, 2015
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Favorites

Reviews The Gardener of Baghdad

  • Cassandra Scearce
    Wow, wow, wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I was not sure when I first came across this book. I thought the cover was very interesting and the description pulled me in a bit more. So I added it to my shelves to read.I can't even express the awe I am feeling as I finish this book...This is the true definition of a love story. Nicolas Sparks is going to have a run for his money when Ahmad Ardalan is discovered by the public at large.The book opens in a bookstore...
  • Lela
    A love story between two people from different worlds in a beautiful, troubled old city. The descriptions of the gardens and homes of the rich drew a picture of opulence without a trace of anger. Ali, an Iraqi young man and rsther famous gardener falls cock-a-hoop over Mary, the daughter of a British general, part of the ruling regime. This is a forbidden love in two ways: first, she's wealthy and he is not and second he is Iraqii while Mary id B...
  • Jerry Bennett
    I came to really like this book. It started a bit slowly, but I became quite enthralled by the way the story developed. I might never have read it if I had not become involved in a discussion with the author on Goodreads, but I am really glad that I did. Baghdad today tends to get a bad press, with regular car bombings, murders etc., but the gentleness of this story is in complete contrast to the news headlines. Just about all the characters (exc...
  • Lori Henrich
    Adnan was cleaning up the last of the glass from the latest roadside bomb. Adnan lives in Baghdad and the explosions are becoming commonplace. He is thinking of selling his store until he find a mysterious book among his collection of old books that have been handed down in his family. The book is a hand written journal with a hidden locket inside of it. Adnan sits down to read and is transported back in time to the 1950s and the story of the lif...
  • Maree Repa
    Finding the Beautiful GardenI was just so enthralled and excited to read this most beautiful and wonderful tale of the conflict and tragedy and the romance of living and surviving in these two very different world today. Adman was such a hard worker in his book shop. Spending hours repairing and cleaning. After a bomb blew up not far outside from where people where. It was time that Adman realised that he maybe should give up now. It was be such ...
  • Julie
    I loved reading about the Baghdad of old as well as the developing romance between Ali the gardener and Mary, the daughter of the British Governor. The story is told through the eyes of Adnan, a bookseller ready to pack up his bookstore after the latest bombing when he comes across Ali's memoir. This is a book that works on many levels; first and foremost it's a romance but it's also deeper than that embodying cultural differences, nostalgia but ...
  • Kristine
    It is difficult to believe a book that is so poorly written gets published; the story has some intrigue, but the trite phrases used on every page: "love of my life", "my precious butterfly", "her green eyes sparkled like diamonds" were horrible to read. The telling of this story could have been at least a million times better with a good editor. Would have gone on my "did not finish" list if it wasn't a book club read.
  • Sandie Grise
    Stars:5POV: there were two- Adnan and AliSeries: no Cliffhanger: possibly, but I don't think it is one. But I do hope that there will be a sequel. With descriptions so vivid, it's easy to to imagine the beauty that surrounds Ali (the main Character of this book). He creates the most beautiful gardens, ones that touch not only our eyes but our very being. Just from the descriptions, I can smell the flowers and feel the breeze touch my skin. But th...
  • Margaret Crampton
    The core of this book set in the fifties is a love story between Ali a talented Iraqi landscape gardener and Mary Thompson daughter of a British General based in Baghdad. Ali wrote a memoir of their star crossed romance and while fleeing in chaotic Baghdad left it between the pages of another book in a second hand bookshop. Decades later this handwritten story is found by Adnan the bookshop owner. Adnan reads the memoir and is greatly affected by...
  • Melanie
    I struggled with rating this book. I would like to give it 3 1/2 stars. Unfortunately, it wasn't a four star for me. I enjoyed the story and think that this little book has potential. I think that what it needs is:* more character development (all the main characters are a bit flat);* editing to reduce sentence/thought duplication; and,* re-working of some of the dialogue to improve the flow.I do love the cover of this book though. It is tremendo...
  • Danielle Brown-Barba
    I enjoyed this book. It did drag a little in the middle, but the ending was worth the time. I HAD to know what became of Ali & Mary. I also had to Google "Baghdad in the 1950's" just to see the imagery so beautifully detailed in Ali's memoir.
  • Kätlin
    I found this book totally by accident when browsing the titles available at the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and decided to give it a shot, as I like reading books that give me a glimpse at a country and culture different from mine. The short description sounded interesting too.The story itself was cute, if a bit sappy, and I generally enjoyed it. I would probably have liked it more and given a higher score, if there weren't for the shortcoming...
  • DubaiReader
    Baghdad, city of romance.This book was an interesting balance between the violent Baghdad of today and the genteel place of luxury gardens that it once was.Current day Adnan struggles to run his bookshop amongst bombings, terror and intermittent electricity. His wife is desperate to leave the city, but Adnan is attached to the shop, which he inherited from his father. Although he has reluctantly agreed to leave, he is still nostalgically potterin...
  • Karen
    As Adnan cleans his bookstore, he finds and begins reading the memoir of Ali the gardener of Bagdad. Ali's story inspires us as it inspires Adnan... we experience a sense of wonder and beauty along with him. I loved the imagery of Ali's story, and was disappointed when I reached the end of this book. I highly recommend this lovely story that's a reminder of the beauty that surrounds us even in the most challenging times.
  • Candace
    This was a sweet love story that was revealed in a discovered letter written 50 years in the past. That the events are set both in present-day Bagdhad (by the man who discovers the letter) and five decades earlier makes the story particularly interesting. A very enjoyable read.
  • Keyreads
    This was sooo good! I fell in love with the history and the romance in this novel. Excellent, excellent story! I will be reading more from Ahmad Ardalan.
  • Pedro Puech
    A beautiful love story in the 50s in Iraq, very well told by Ardalan. A beautiful love story in the 50´s in Iraq, very well told by Ardalan.
  • Evija
    It was very nice holiday read. The book was entertaining through and through, and I couldn't put it down till I turned the last page. For the love story the book was very well written and even quite believable taking into the account the cultural environment of the main characters. Although the book was mainly a love story and held it's course flawlessly, it also gave an insight into life and society in Iraq in the middle of the past century. How...
  • Kath Middleton
    The story opens with Adnan, a book a shop owner in Baghdad, wondering if he should sell up in the light of recent bombings. While clearing up his stock he finds a manuscript and a locket inside the covers of an old book. He reads the story of Ali, the Gardener of Baghdad. It's a charming tale, simply told. Ali falls in love with an English girl, daughter of a general, and she with him. It's a love which seems impossible. Ali is a delightful chara...
  • Pennie
    A book store owner in Baghdad named Adnan closes up shop because of recent bombings. While going through his stock he finds a hand written manuscript with a locket inside it. Curious, he decided to read the memoirs about the story of Adi in 'The Gardener of Baghdad' from the 1950's.A love story unfolds about an orphaned child whom grows up on a farm in Iraq, A bittersweet journey of a boy called Ali and about his life as he grows into adulthood. ...
  • Jennifer
    This was a quaint story and would have gotten a 3 if not for the last few pages which I found contrived and very unrealistic. Pros: It was an easy read, a simple love story. I liked that he was a gardener. I liked the author's descriptions of gardens and farms. Cons: The love between the two did not seem very real. Both in real life and fiction, it is most annoying when men just go on and on about how much they love the beauty of their woman but ...
  • Kathy
    Bookseller in modern day Baghdad is considering moving his family out of the city due to the violence. He comes upon a memoir...tucked inside another book in his special collection of old books. This takes him back to the second half of twentieth century to read about another man's life...and love story in Baghdad. What impressed me the most was the beauty of Baghdad. Since 9/11, I have thought of it as war torn....destroyed....not a place that I...
  • Joo
    Adnan, a bookshop owner in Baghdad finds an old book in his store and starts reading it. But once he's started, he just can't stop, as it's the story of Ali - the Gardener of Baghdad who disappeared back in the 50s.I really enjoyed this gentle story. The book is paced as Adnan reads it. It is a love story across class and religion back in the times when it really did make a difference.We are taken on a journey through hard times but where love tr...
  • Irene MacFarland
    Captivating. Story filled with rich historyThis novel tells the story of two men from different times and places who ultimately connect. The author paints the history of the people in Bagdad and the shifting politics in the country of his birth through the bookseller discovering a diary. There is inspiration in both men's lives and a respectful presentation of difficult realities.
  • Jack
    I enjoyed this book and the story of Ali, Mary and Iraq. It put a human face on a country and people who have too often been victimized. Having said that, I will note that the book lacks many literary conventions and is written in a pedestrian manner. I kept thinking that this book could have been on the par with Khaled Hosseini's Kite Runner, had the author been a more polished writer. Nevertheless, this was a most enjoyable read.
  • Pam
    I loved this book. It was very simply written, but told a great story. It centers around two men; one writing a memoir and the other finding the story decades later in his bookstore in Baghdad. Instead of closing up his shop to move from wartorn Baghdad with his famiy, he reads the memoir and decides to find out from some older locals if they know about any of the people in the story, and if they are still living. The ending has a wonderful twist...
  • Sue
    More of a 3.75 tops. Imagine a gentler, kinder Iraq before it's wars. A lovely, quick read of a love story that was predictable and a bit too "perfect ". I still enjoyed escaping into what seemed like a magical world.
  • Suror Mahmoud
    Beautiful novel, full of facts in a fictional tale set in lovely Iraq.
  • Lynn
    Interesting story with a lot of possibilities but just not that well told.
  • Glenda Bixler
    I really enjoyed this book! Check out my review+ at Book Readers Heavenhttp://gabixlerreviews-bookreadershea...