The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng
A Novel

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Tan Twan Eng

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Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang, Malaysia, but lived in various places in Malaysia as a child. He worked as an Intellectual Property lawyer before resigning from his position to write his novel, The Gift of Rain. His second novel, The Garden of Evening Mists, will be published in the United Kingdom in February 2012.The Gift of Rain was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, and has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Greek, Romanian, Czech and Serbian. Tan Twan Eng lives in Cape Town where he is working on his third novel.
 
Published May 5, 2009 by Weinstein Books. 460 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Gift of Rain

Kirkus Reviews

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Much of the rest of the novel finds Philip relating to Michiko (and the reader) how his relationship with Endo had determined his life’s course.

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BookPage

In Tan Twan Eng's amazing debut novel, which was long-listed for the 2007 Man Booker Prize, we're presented with societies whose sense of loyalty, duty and honor are already intense, and easily twisted by the depravities of World War II.The protagonist of The Gift of Rain is Philip Hutton, the yo...

Sep 25 2015 | Read Full Review of The Gift of Rain: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Tan Twan Eng’s ambitious and sprawling debut novel, which was long-listed for Britain’s Booker Prize, draws on the author’s native Malaysia as the world prepares for war.

May 04 2008 | Read Full Review of The Gift of Rain: A Novel

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Sep 25 2015 | Read Full Review of The Gift of Rain: A Novel

Artswrap

The enigmatic Endo is bound by disciplines of his own and when the Japanese invade Malaya, threatening to destroy Philip's family and everything he loves, he realises that his trusted sensei - to whom he owes absolute loyalty - has been harbouring a devastating secret.Philip must risk everything ...

| Read Full Review of The Gift of Rain: A Novel

Artswrap

The enigmatic Endo is bound by disciplines of his own and when the Japanese invade Malaya, threatening to destroy Philip's family and everything he loves, he realises that his trusted sensei - to whom he owes absolute loyalty - has been harbouring a devastating secret.Philip must risk everything ...

| Read Full Review of The Gift of Rain: A Novel

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