A well written, well-paced novel whose female protagonist, Priya is still mourning the recent (and sudden) death of her beloved husband when she unexpectedly meets Suresh, the nephew of Jeevan, a Sri Lankan man whom she regularly visits in a senior’s residence in St. John’s.While Suresh is likable (and Priya is definitely not looking for another husband), there is something about Suresh that both attracts her but while he does come across as caring, there is a certain controlling aspect to his demeanor, reminding Priya too much of her father. After one intimate evening (in which Suresh appears to have taken advantage of Priya’s momentary weakness) she finds herself pregnant for the first time. It is at this point that Priya is faced with some tough decisions, and she seeks the advice of a professional counselor as well as her close friends. She is, however, determined to keep the child and suffer any other consequences that may come, including marriage to a man she does not love. Nevertheless, Priya is a steadfast woman and with the help of three good friends (one being Ryan, who is quite attracted to Priya) she attempts to do what is right, both for her conscience and for the growing life inside her.
Dawning of a New Garden is a satisfying story that encompasses cultural traditions, spirituality, taboos and above all, love and close friendship.
Tara Nanayakkara was born in Sri Lanka and immigrated to Canada with her family when she was three. She is the author of three novels, To Wish Upon A Rainbow (1989); Picture Perfect (2007); and Priya’s World (2012). A professional writer for the past thirty years, her writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, The Telegram and Canadian Living magazine, among others. She lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, with her husband and two children.