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Defying the social restrictions of 1927, Katherine, a young American doctor, crosses the Ma’rhu River in the obscure tropical country of Takau. Determined to open a clinic in the slums of Am’rha Bo, Katherine wins hearts and defies authorities. She survives an earthquake and gets tangled in a violent revolution. Her soul is awakened and she experiences the revelations of cultural immersion. As The Island Gardens of Takau disclose their secrets, she discovers allies in unlikely guises and a lover whose extravagant idealism finally exceeds her own.
Laced with the mythology and color of an ancient culture, Katherine’s narrative reveals her slow recognition of the price paid for uncompromising devotion to a noble cause. But, her achievements only clear the way for violence and betrayal. Will the great bridge Kai and Katherine struggle to build unite the shores that the Ma’rhu has kept separate for centuries?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
“The Island Gardens of Takau. Although the book is written as an allegory of one Kay’s past relationships, the book offers a gripping commentary on the dangers of pursuing a quixotic ideal to its end. The story takes place in the mid-1920s, at a time when the U.S. is energized with Modernism and all the progress it offers. A young woman named Katherine is bent on bringing Western medicine to the impoverished country of Takau, come hell or high water, of which she gets both.
During her first visit to the guildmasters who rule the oppressed country, Katherine meets her love interest of the story. Kai is a dashing idealistic clan leader who has received his education in the States. His eyes beam with optimism and adoration for the gutsy Katherine, and he does all he can to help her realize her dream of a modern medical clinic designed to help the poor people of Takau. The Island Gardens of Takau starts with slow strife. Monsoons, a confrontational medicine woman and an aggravated police chief are just a few of the difficulties Katherine faces in the pursuit of her dream. Yet, despite the high degree of action that takes place during the first half of the book, the first half of the book is idyllic, nicely balanced out with a rich tapestry of food, revelry and myth.
Katherine and Kai spend many nights strolling through his palatial gardens, complete with complexly crafted irrigation and statues of gods and goddesses nearly forgotten. Their place of refuge further spurs on their dreams of an ideal Takau, with both sides of the tiny country united by a grand bridge. It is from here that the pace of the book quickens. From the moment of conception until the crushing moment the bridge opens, Katherine and Kai’s world spins out of control and the reader is left to contemplate the consequences of dreams gone unchecked. Although Takau faces a severe outcome, the book ends on a positive note. Through all her idealistic pursuits, Katherine unknowingly plants seeds more potent than any of her intentional actions — an inspired and empowered young woman.” ~ Kyle Stich, Roguewriter