The Infidel’s Garden has had some wonderful reader reviews which are posted here. Thanks to you all for taking the time to write these five star reviews. I’m delighted you enjoyed the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! This is the kind of tale that gets into your head and keeps you thinking about it all the time. The kind of book you sit up to midnight reading promising yourself ‘just one more chapter, just one more.’ I read it over three nights (had to take a break to feed the family – drag) but the story and the characters are still running around in my head a week later. The main character, Marjit, is spunky and witty, the acerbic black dog that sits on her shoulder makes me laugh and cry, Pieter, her beloved, is upright, moral and dishy, and the sex scenes are steamy and poetic. The setting, Christian Holland after the Spanish Inquisition, is very well presented. It is a world completely alien to us today but the author brings it to all our senses – the sights, the smells, the fears, the horrors, and the delicate gentle corners where innocence is nurtured and encouraged to blossom. It’s a frightening place that can only be survived with the aid of love – the question is whether love can survive in such a place at all.
Hearty congrats to the author for a fantastic first full length novel and looking forward very much to the next.
The author (after having read one of my reviews) contacted me and asked me if I would like to read her book. Based on my reading history, she thought I might like it. I have to say – it was hard to put down. I really enjoyed the story, and it made me curious about that period of history. The heroine of the story is a Muslim girl, Soheila, whose parents were killed during the Inquisition. She is taken captive to be sold into slavery. Because she is young and sick, she does not sell as a slave and is dropped off at a convent in the Netherlands where she lives until early adulthood. It is where the story begins, and the readers are told the story from Soheila’s point-of-view. She is not a perfect person; we see her weaknesses. She is, however, very strong, and ultimately she is vindicated. She suffers many trials, and the characters are well developed. The villains are truly villains. It makes me so glad that I am living in the 21st century. There was so much violence and suffering. I enjoyed the story a lot. There were a few places where I thought the book dragged a bit, but as soon as I thought that, there was another plot twist. I would definitely recommend this historical fiction/love story to anyone who enjoys reading about life in the 1500’s.
I suspect this book might end up being quite controversial, given the illicit sex scenes between a Muslim woman and a devout Christian. The style of the writing is very visual and quite poetic, especially the erotic dream sequences. I loved the way the author incorporates artist Hieronymus Bosch’s works into her plot. Seems like she’s done her historical research thoroughly, too, which is something that really bugs me when it’s done badly. Ultimately, what kept me glued to the page was the epic love story. I’m really glad I stuck with Infidel’s Garden because after the first few pages, it really gets going.
From Karen James
And then, there’s this one from iBook reader Kazzy167589. Thank you!
What an amazing book! Easily my favourite for the year. The author has obviously done her research and if you like historical fact mixed with fiction then this is for you. There’s lots of philosophical musing beneath a cracker of a fast paced story with a sublime romance. I defy you not to keep turning the pages. If you like learning new things whilst enjoying a good story then this is the book for you!