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Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens

Shankari Chandran

$34.99

Paperback

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Ultimo Press
06 January 2022

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Anji runs the nursing home, Cinnamon Gardens, that her 80 year old mother Maya technically owns in one of Sydney's western suburbs. It is a caring place, and though there are hierarchies amongst the multi-cultural residents, yet they are a cohesive and vibrant community. While it is exactly the sort of place you would want your elderly relatives to live out the last of their days, there are problems - money, staff and worst of all, community. When the home, and one of the staff in particular, is targeted by vile racists, it is the catalyst for devastating developments…

The story weaves backwards and forwards in time, with shifting viewpoints and complicated relationships. It takes in the appallingly tragic consequences of the civil war in Sri Lanka - some of the most affecting parts of the novel show the horrors that occurred there, and the dreadful choices people had to make. Despite an innocuous title that seems to indicate a feel-good story, this is a strong and powerful novel that deals with a multitude of themes - our treatment of the elderly, of refugees and migrants, and the bonds that make families and the stresses that destroy relationships - and the damage politicians (and the media that report their actions) can inflict without thought and with unlooked-for consequences. Well worth reading, and thinking about...  Lindy


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'Deftly traversing time, culture and continent to weave a tale of both home and unbelonging, this is truly a novel not to be missed.' - Maxine Beneba Clarke, author of Foreign Soil and The Hate Race

'This is an engaging story that feels both urgent and necessary. It is also a terrific read.' - The Daily Telegraph

'this story burns with anger and sings with optimism, sprinkled through with moments of levity and humour.' - The Canberra Times

Welcome to Cinnamon Gardens, a home for those who are lost and the stories they treasure.

Cinnamon Gardens Nursing Home is nestled in the quiet suburb of Westgrove, Sydney - populated with residents with colourful histories, each with their own secrets, triumphs and failings. This is their safe place, an oasis of familiar delights - a beautiful garden, a busy kitchen and a bountiful recreation schedule.

But this ordinary neighbourhood is not without its prejudices. The serenity of Cinnamon Gardens is threatened by malignant forces more interested in what makes this refuge different rather than embracing the calm companionship that makes this place home to so many. As those who challenge the residents' existence make their stand against the nursing home with devastating consequences, our characters are forced to reckon with a country divided.

Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens is about family and memory, community and race, but is ultimately a love letter to storytelling and how our stories shape who we are.

'An engrossing, urgent, warm, wise and utterly, utterly beautiful novel.' - Emily Maguire, author of An Isolated Incident and Love Objects

'a powerful, compassionate novel about friendship, family, community-building, and the racism faced by members of diasporic communities in this country.' - The AU Review

By:  
Imprint:   Ultimo Press
Country of Publication:   Australia
Edition:   Trade Paperback
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
ISBN:   9781761150319
ISBN 10:   1761150316
Pages:   384
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Shankari Chandran was raised in Canberra, Australia. She spent a decade in London, working as a lawyer in the social justice field. She eventually returned home to Australia, where she now lives with her husband, four children and their cavoodle puppy, Benji. In January 2017, she published her first book with Perera-Hussein, called Song of the Sun God. Her second book, The Barrier, was published in June 2017.

Reviews for Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens

'Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens is a lyrical, stirring, accomplished exploration of the trauma we carry, the secrets we keep, the histories we harbour, and the family we find. Chandran's characters are so vividly drawn you can sense them sitting across the table long after you've closed the covers. Deftly traversing time, culture and continent to weave a tale of both home and unbelonging, this is truly a novel not to be missed.' -- Maxine Beneba Clarke, author of Foreign Soil and The Hate Race 'Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens filled this reviewer's heart with both hope and rage at witnessing history repeat itself, while somehow preserving optimism about how communities can be rebuilt.' * Books + Publishing * 'a powerful, compassionate novel about friendship, family, community-building, and the racism faced by members of diasporic communities in this country.' * The Au Review * 'this story burns with anger and sings with optimism, sprinkled through with moments of levity and humour.' * The Canberra Times * An engrossing, urgent, warm, wise and utterly, utterly beautiful novel. * Emily Maguire, author of An Isolated Incident and Love Objects *


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