Certainty by Madeleine Thien
A Novel

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Madeleine Thien's stunning debut novel hauntingly retells a crucial moment in history, through two unforgettable love stories. Gail Lim, a producer of radio documentaries, is haunted by the mystery of her father's Asian past. As a child, Gail's father, Matthew Lim, lived in a Malaysian village occupied by the Japanese. He and his beloved Ani wandered the jungle fringe under the terrifying shadow of war. The war shattered their families, splitting the two apart until a brief reunion years later. Matthew's profound connection to Ani and the life-changing secrets they shared cast a shadow that, later still, Matthew's wife, Clara, desperately sought to understand. Gail's journey to unravel the mystery of her parents' lives takes her to Amsterdam, where she unearths more about this mysterious other woman. But as Gail approaches the truth, Ani's story will bring Gail face-to-face, with the untold mysteries of her own life. Vivid, poignant, and written in understated yet powerful prose, CERTAINTY is a novel about the legacies of loss, the dislocations of war, and the timeless redemption afforded by love.

About Madeleine Thien

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Madeline Thien, 26, is the Canadian born daughter of Malaysian-Chinese immigrants. She holds and MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. She live in Vancouver, BC.
Published March 21, 2007 by Little, Brown and Company. 321 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Certainty

The Bookbag

In the aftermath of her death, these people remember her - and the memories of Gail, spark off other memories and so tales unwind which take us from Vancouver to British North Borneo in the last days of the second world war, through the troubles of Indonesia, to Holland, Australia, and back to Ca...

Nov 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Certainty: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Thien's debut novel draws its meager impetus from the tale of Matthew and Ani, two 10-year-olds in the village of Sandakan in Japanese-occupied Borneo during WWII, whose lyrical idylls buffer t

Feb 05 2007 | Read Full Review of Certainty: A Novel

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