*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *
Title: A Robot in the Garden
Author: Deborah Install
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
What would you do if you found a robot in your back garden? For 34-year-old Ben Chambers the answer is obvious: find out where it came from and return it home, even if it means losing his wife in the process. Determined to achieve something for once in his life, Ben embarks on a journey that takes him and the endearing robot, Tang, to the far side of the globe…and back again. Along the way Ben begins to change, subtly at first, and then in ways that only become clear on his return to the house he’s always lived in.
Thank you to Random House Canada for supplying me with this copy for review. A Robot in the Garden is one of the loveliest, sweetest stories that I’ve read. Tang is an unusual, out-of-date robot who stumbles into Ben’s life at the perfect moment. Things aren’t going so well for Ben. Ever since the death of his parents, he’s been stuck. His marriage is falling apart, his career path is in shambles, and bestowed with the wealth and home of his diseased parents, there’s little in Ben’s life to motivate him. Along comes Tang. Tang reminds Ben what it means to care about something. It is the threat to Tang’s existence that brings Ben back to life. In their worldly adventure, an unlikely friendship is born.
This story is pure sweetness and hilarious. Tang is a snarky, teasing, troublemaking child with the world’s biggest heart. He relies on Ben for safe passage as they embark on the journey to find someone who can fix his leak and explain his inner workings. But Tang also comes to bond with Ben as he learns and adapts to the world around them, and they form the purest of friendships. Throughout the course of the story, Ben begins to heal and Tang shows him that there are other things in life worth living for. Ben learns to deal with his emotions and reactions in a much more mature way. He takes on the role of a father figure to Tang, surprising and impressing those in his life. It is when he becomes responsible for another being that he is able to finally find some closure from his parents’ passing, and being to move on.
Install is a completely hilarious writer. Her story is punctuated with light-hearted humour to create a story that jaunts along Her characters are endearing and totally likeable. Although many of them have their flaws, when the story is stripped away, they are all caring and loving people who may have been caught up in grief or work or life in general, but in their hearts, they want only the best for one another. Install’s characters experience intense and immense growth. They change and adapt as their environments change and as the encounter new things and people.
I hope you’ll take the time to read Installs wonderful text. This story is light and funny, and most of all it’ll warm your heart. It’s the perfect summer read.