A Robot in the Garden, by Deborah Install

Publisher: Doubleday / Transworld |  Published 23rd April 2015  |  Edition: Kindle (via Netgalley)

What an amazing story that’s perfectly formed in every way, just like Tang. Being utterly adorable and thoughtfully constructed, you won’t want to put Tang, sorry, this book down.

It’s unexpectedly amusing and also touching. Although, it’s not without its serious side, it’s an altogether delightful tale about relationships, expectations and, well, life in general.

Robot in the garden

A story that’s perfectly formed. There’s no missing components here…

There’s no time period mentioned in the book, but it is set in our seemingly ordinary, everyday world, only in this book technology has moved on from our own. AI (Androids / Artificial Intelligence) perform servant’s duties to take the pressure off humans who choose to utilise their services.

Whoa, before you switch offthis isn’t some futuristic, sci-fi affair, appealing to addicts of the fantasy genre, far from it. It’s a down to earth story of everyday life, the only exception is having a rusting robot called Tang as the star attraction – and he is undoubtedly every inch a star (all four feet, two inches of him!).

The main characters feature a failed trainee veterinary student, the unemployed Ben, his high-flying and perfectly preened barrister wife, Amy, and a mysterious addition to their family, a one of a kind robot that behaves like no other.

Tang This one

Fall in love with Tang.

Tang got my attention from the get-go. It’s impossible not to find him endearing, without being sickly sweet. Deborah Install has written THE perfect little character to tug at your heartstrings; the way this vulnerable, little metallic creation sits its corroding carcass in the garden of the couple’s home one day, causing havoc on arrival is brilliant. Tang is barely able to communicate, but Ben sees he’s clearly in a state of confused distress.

Lack of communication appears to be the order of the day. While Ben concentrates on treating Tang like a new project to fill his days, it passes him by that he’s waving farewell to his relationship with Amy.

Life soon becomes more complicated for Ben when he’s faced with accepting his new responsibility, in more ways than one. What can two of life’s rejects possibly learn from each other?

Their story becomes a whole global affair, which takes you on a journey of more than just miles.

With the writer’s flair for anecdotes, which could only apply to ‘team Ben and Tang’, their daily scramble through seemingly innocent situations is humorous, if somewhat compromising at times!

THOROUGHLY RECOMMENDED: Go buy a copy and instantly raise your spirits…

Rating: 5/5

(I’m very grateful to the publisher for providing a Kindle Copy via Netgalley for review @BenWillis @Transworldbooks)

You can follow ‘The Robot Lady’ author on Twitter:  @DeborahInstall  |  The ‘odd couple’ even have their own twitter account at @BenandTang