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

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...
  • John Rachel
    What an eye-opening and inspiring story! Iraq is a country the U.S. destroyed in a war built on deceptions. In the ramp up to dismembering this once beautiful land, we were of course subjected to the usual dehumanizing propaganda. Americans are so abysmally unaware of the histories and cultures of other countries, when subjected the mechanisms of mass brainwashing, it's easy for most of us to forget that millions of stories had been unfolding in ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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.
  • Kelly Hyde
    Wow!!!!!One of the best books I have ever read!!! I couldn’t put it down! I have also suggested it to our bookclub.Beautiful absolutely beautiful.
  • 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 ...
  • Atalia ☕
    ¿Qué puedo decir al respecto? ¡Me encantó!Esta historia es sobre Adnan, un hombre que tiene una librería (en la época contemporánea) y encuentra las memorias de Ali, un joven jardinero que describe sus vivencias en 1958. Tiene que ver con amor, lucha, sacrificio, perseverancia... Valores que son muy importantes y que, desde mi punto de vista, están bien reflejados; además, la manera en la que todo está descrito te hace sentir dentro de ...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Emmanuel Olawale
    Great Story. Wonderful writing. Awesome read.A page-turner that takes the reader through the political history of Iraq with a captivating love story that touches the heart and quickens the pulse. This novel is one of the best I've read this year, reminiscent of Khalid Hussein's work.
  • Richard Dempster
    A most pleasant readI love this story because of the style of writing was so fresh and endearing. Where such passion and depth of character exist there will always be a rewarding future. Thank you Ahmad for giving me the assurance that what will be will be. Smiles and hugs.
  • 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.
  • Kathryn
    Can a memoir, a book, bring back hope and love in time of war? A lovely story set in Baghdad - gives insight into Iraq before 50 years of war. And reminder of love, beauty and hope.
  • 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.
  • Hannah Parker
    I'm always happy to find books that are set in the Middle East during peacetime, and this one didn't disappoint! The writing is a little stilted and repetitive at times ("'[My cousin] was a good man,' he said, remembering his cousin fondly"), but not so much that it detracts from the story for me. Some people might also find the ending too sappy, but even as an occasional critic of overly sappy endings myself, this is one that made me go "awww" r...
  • Betty Ashbaker
    OutstandingWorth reading twice. Well written. Includes some history of the location but the focus on the people living there makes it an engaging read.
  • Judith Regnaud
    A delightfully and very well written story which kept me intrigued right to the amazing ending. Do read it - you won't be disappointed.
  • Jan
    A beautiful tale of love, discrimination, obsession, and a city and country that have suffered much in the last fifty odd years. The bookseller in Baghdad lives in precarious times, and while unhappily examining a book he finds that its innards have been replaced by a locket and the personal journal of a man who identifies himself as the Gardener of Baghdad. This is the love story that is interrupted by discrimination and revolution. The obsessio...
  • Diana Pasley
    InterestingIt is good to understand a different perspective of Iraq. It was the cradle of civilization and I am go to have been reminded of that.
  • Anne Whitten
    Beautiful story. I finished this in three days.