The Ash Garden


281 pages
ISBN 0-00-225524-3
DDC C813'.54





Reviewed by Jerremie Clyde

Jerremie Clyde is a reference librarian at the University of Alberta.


The Ash Garden chronicles the impact of the Second World War on the
lives of three people. Emiko Amai is only six when the atom bomb falls
on Hiroshima. Her parents and little brother are killed, and she is
horribly scarred; her grandfather arranges for her to go to the United
States for reconstructive surgery. Anton Boll, a refugee German
scientist who played a role in the bomb’s creation, travels to the
devastated city of Hiroshima to study the fallout. The third main
character, Sophie, is a victim of the Nazi Party. Forced to flee Europe
as a teenager, she faces estrangement from her family, her past, and her
husband, Anton.

This is a deeply moving and thought-provoking novel. Rather than
debating the morality of the bomb, it skilfully explores the profound
effects of the bomb, and the war that precipitated it, on the three


Bock, Dennis., “The Ash Garden,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 22, 2024,