Andal’s Garland

(1 customer review)

In eighth century India, Andal is born into a world where girls are married and with child by fourteen. Defying the mores of her time, she refuses marriage to a mortal man. Only a god will do. Andal’s imagination is boundless and her antics set the town’s tongues wagging. As Andal becomes more and more absorbed by her visions, she composes songs to her divine lover.

Saisha discovers Andal’s songs in a book on a trip to India with her partner Marcus. The verses are confronting and unearth memories Saisha thought were long ago buried. Not only is she unable to conceive, for the past two decades Marcus has chosen celibacy. What defines her as a woman when these two primal desires remain unfulfilled?

Andal’s words are deceptively simple, yet shine a lamp on the labyrinths of Saisha’s sexuality and her quest to find peace with the choices she has made.

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Book Details

Weight 400 g
Dimensions 203 × 133 mm

300 pages






Visionary & Metaphysical

Release date

15 September 2021




Odyssey Books

About The Author

Helen Burns

Helen Burns

Helen Burns devoted three years to Asian Studies with a major in Hindi at The Australian National University, until the call to venture deeper overtook the need for a degree. She has since encountered saints and teachers within Indian temples, mosques and ashrams. From all-night qawwalis in Rajasthan, to lone sadhus in mountain caves. From silent meditation retreats in Australia and Myanmar, to the midnight dance-divinations of Araiyers in Srivilliputtur. She now divides her time between Byron Bay and Far North Queensland, and India wherever it takes her. Andal’s Garland is her second book.

1 review for Andal’s Garland

  1. Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

    A powerful read

    Burns pens a magnificently written story in ANDAL’S GARLAND. I have read work from this author before, and I really enjoyed it, well, more than enjoyed it. In the 8th Century, in India, which has a different cultural mindset and belief system. Andal is a very unique character but the culture she was born into, makes it also indicative of what she almost demands for herself. At fourteen, a girl should be married, but Andal didn’t want a man, she wanted a literal God. She has her own visionary path for herself, and mystical and spiritual capabilities, so she composes her songs to her God. Her songs are found by Saisha, who has her own wishes for her fate, and future. The songs of Andal speak to Saisha, and that’s where this plot continues. I couldn’t put the story down. It was undeniably wonderfully spiritual and even inspirational. Faith is what we all have when we believe in something, no matter what that something is. It’s one of those embraceable stories. It’s definitely un-put-downable! Simply awe-inspiring. Very impressive story telling. ANDAL’S GARLAND is a definite recommendation by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews. I look forward to reading many more stories by this author.

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