The Gift of Rain

Author(s): Tan Twan Eng

Fiction

The recipient of extraordinary acclaim from critics and the bookselling community, Tan Twan Eng's debut novel casts a powerful spell and has garnered comparisons to celebrated wartime storytellers Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene. Set during the tumult of World War II, on the lush Malayan island of Penang, The Gift of Rain tells a riveting and poignant tale about a young man caught in the tangle of wartime loyalties and deceits.

In 1939, sixteen-year-old Philip Hutton-the half-Chinese, half-English youngest
child of the head of one of Penang's great trading families-feels alienated from both the Chinese and British communities. He at last discovers a sense of belonging in his unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat. Philip proudly shows his new friend around his adored island, and in return Endo teaches him about Japanese language and culture and trains him in the art and discipline of aikido. But such knowledge comes at a terrible price. When the Japanese savagely invade Malaya, Philip realizes that his mentor and sensei-to whom he owes absolute loyalty-is a Japanese spy. Young Philip has been an unwitting traitor, and must now work in secret to save as many lives as possible, even as his own family is brought to its knees.

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'A powerful first novel about a tumultuous and almost forgotten period of history.'Times Literary Supplement'A remarkable book... about war, friendship, memory and discipline.'Ian McMillan, BBC Radio 3'Haunting and highly evocative... a deeply moving tale.'Cape Times'An engrossing read, a hugely enjoyable emotional voyage.'John McRae, author of The Routledge Guide to Modern Writing.'The novel reveals an emotional depth coupled with a heartfelt exploration of a dramatic moment in a community's history...A richly rewarding read.'Wilhelm Snyman, Cape Times'The Gift of Rain is a riveting book about loyalty, honour and courage. It asks: How does an individual make moral decisions and carry them out in the face of conflicting loyalties and values?It requires an exceptionally assured writer to do justice to such a theme, but first-time novelist Tan Twan Eng spins out his complex, nuanced story with skill and grace. His style is assured and clear, his imagery powerful, often beautiful.'Rick Sullivan, Adelaide Advertiser'Vivid ... strong narrative ... rich in imagery and action ... I was so totally hooked that everything else had to be put on hold until I had finished it.'Sharon Bakar,The Star (Kuala Lumpur)'An easy pleasure to read... Yes, there are moral and political complexities, but Tan Twan Eng generally deals with them with disarming lightness. Plus, his prose... is smooth and often even delicate.'Sam Jordison, guardian.co.uk'Unusually clever and evocative... Tragic tale of love and betrayal beautifully told.'Geelong Advertiser

Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang, but lived in various places in Malaysia as a child. He studied law through the University of London, and later worked as an advocate and solicitor in Kuala Lumpur. He has a first-dan ranking in Aikido and is a strong proponent for the conservation of heritage buildings. He has spent the last year traveling around South Africa, and currently lives in Cape Town where he is working on his second book.

General Fields

  • : 9781905802142
  • : Myrmidon Books Ltd.
  • : Myrmidon Books Ltd
  • : 0.478
  • : May 2008
  • : 3.8 Centimeters X 13 Centimeters X 19.8 Centimeters
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Tan Twan Eng
  • : Paperback
  • : 823.92
  • : 448