Dennis Bock. The Ash Garden.
Knopf, 2001. 281 pp. $23.00.
The Ash Garden brings together three characters very much products of World War II, its dislocations and violence. Two women, Emiko Amai and Sophie Boll, child survivors of Hiroshima and Linz, live lives of loss despite their "good fortune," which emanates from Sophie's husband, Anton Boll, an atomic scientist who left Germany to work at Los Alamos. Boll discovers Sophie in a refugee camp in Canada in 1943 and plays a critical role in bringing Emiko to the United States for plastic surgery in the mid-1950s. That intertwining of lives forms a central pattern that recurs on several levels of this carefully written and shaped narrative. Emiko's sections of the story appear in the first person, while the Bolls' are told in the third. While the two women lose their families and feel that loss gravely, Boll suffers from an inability to manifest his emotions with any depth. Much like the Edward Teller of the recent Memoirs (Perseus, 2001), he too might say, "I deeply regret the deaths and injuries that resulted from the atomic bombings, but my best explanation of why I do not regret working on weapons is a question: what if I hadn't?" Certainly, Boll believes that. Bock Noun 1. bock - a very strong lager traditionally brewed in the fall and aged through the winter for consumption in the spring
lager beer, lager - a general term for beer made with bottom fermenting yeast (usually by decoction mashing); originally , in this first novel, takes us inside the mind of a focused scientist, puts us on the Enola Gay, allows us to see the ironies of life and history at work; he succeeds more gracefully than Anton Boll in controlling his creation. While "the ash garden" of Hiroshima nearly finds its balance in Sophie's topiary topiary
Art of training living trees and shrubs into artificial, decorative shapes. Topiary is known to have been practiced in the 1st century AD. The earliest topiary was probably the simple development of edgings, cones, columns, and spires to accent a garden scene. creations, going to seed because of her illness and consequent inattention in·at·ten·tion
Lack of attention, notice, or regard.
Noun 1. inattention - lack of attention
basic cognitive process - cognitive processes involved in obtaining and storing knowledge , the novel itself, with a touch as delicate and easy as Lily Briscoe's at the end of To the Lighthouse To the Lighthouse (5 May 1927) is a novel by Virginia Woolf. The freely, multiply discursive tale centers on the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920. , comes satisfyingly together.