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  • The Fairy Tale Magazine

Review by Lissa Sloan: Into the Moon Garden

Make a wish. The moon’s words haunt Rashmi, even nineteen years after she missed the crucial opportunity to change her fate. She can never forgive herself for her failure on the night her mother died. Ever since then, she has embraced her grandfather’s mantra of science over magic. Desperate to somehow make things right, she throws herself into her studies and later her work as a Mumbai researcher, never allowing even her devoted boyfriend Darsh to get too close. But when she discovers a rare book of poetry featuring the Moon Garden, the very fable her mother used to tell her, Rashmi dares to hope she might have a second chance.

Into the Moon Garden by Shveta Thakrar follows Rashmi and Darsh into a place of breathtaking beauty and dangerous bargains. Because, of course, even the smallest wish on a shining moon blossom comes with a corresponding price. Rashmi has her eyes on the costliest flower of all: the Silver Lotus. And she must have more than just her wits about her; it is her heart and soul she must summon if she is to get what she wants most.

Thakrar’s Audible Original novella alternates Rashmi’s story with passages from The Many Faces of the Moon, a collection of tales of moon goddesses and gods from cultures all over the world, set to an addictive piece of music. I loved hearing these different myths, most of which were new to me. The Moon Garden, as brought to life in Thakrar’s luminous prose, is an exquisite world, and Bollywood movie-star Darsh is such a match for Rashmi it is almost difficult to see why she insists on keeping him at arm’s length. And yet the most compelling part of this story is Rashmi herself. She is complex, conflicted, and heartbreakingly human, and I related to her in an intensely personal way. Imaginative, evocative, and deeply moving, Into the Moon Garden is a journey not to be missed.

Lissa Sloan is the author of Glass and Feathers, a novel that tells the story of Cinderella after the “happily ever after.” The Enchanted Press will publish it next February.


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