Awarded with the Man Asian Literary Prize 2012
Malaysia, 1951. Judge Yun Ling Teoh, the survivor of a Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands. There she discovers 'The garden of Evening Mists', the only Japanese garden in Malaysia. The creator of the garden is the Japanese Aritomo, who was once the gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling tries to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in a Japanese war camp.
As the months pass and while around her a communist guerilla war rages, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art. But the Garden of Evening Mists remains a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?