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Review by Suze
Ben finds a robot in his garden. While his wife Amy wants to get rid of it, Ben decides to give the robot a chance instead. His name is Tang and although he might look hastily put together and rusty, he does seem to have a personality. Ben and Amy are having problems. Ben doesn't work, he doesn't have any plans for the future, there's nothing he'd like to fill his days with and he isn't particularly interested in becoming a father while Amy wants to have children. When Amy packs her bags and leaves him the robot is all Ben has left. However, there's something broken about Tang, will Ben finally be motivated when he realizes there are things he can still rescue?
A Robot in the Garden is a fantastic unusual story about a lost man and a broken robot. Ben is kindhearted and caring. I immediately liked him. He's stuck and therefore has become unambitious, but he definitely has a lot of wonderful warm character traits. His marriage is difficult. Ben and Amy don't tell each other what they want and they don't listen to each other. Deborah Install describes this lack of real communication in a fantastic honest and understandable way. She combines the fragile marriage with an endearing and headstrong robot, which is a fabulous bizarre combination that works incredibly well.
Deborah Install's writing has a lovely easy flow. I read A Robot in the Garden in one sitting. I was completely enthralled and couldn't put it down. She has a beautiful descriptive way to make emotions come to life. She makes them understandable and natural, which combines very well with the topic of her story. Ben has responsibilities all of a sudden because he has a robot to take care of and due to this new situation he grows as a person. That was the most amazing thing to watch. Both Ben and the robot are constantly evolving and this development made me smile over and over again. Deborah Install mixes this with unexpected twists and turns, which results into a terrific surprising story. A Robot in the Garden is original, creative, entertaining and absolutely magnificent.
If you love original stories about friendship and personal growth you will definitely like A Robot in the Garden.