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Beautiful,
Informative,
Insightful

5 reviews

The Gift of Rain: A Novel
by Tan Twan Eng

Published: 2009-05-05
Paperback : 450 pages
4 members reading this now
12 clubs reading this now
8 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 5 of 5 members
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 ...
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Introduction

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.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

We know how Phillip felt about Endo, but how do you think Endo really felt about Phillip?
by bcarroll (see profile) 09/13/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Hostess served appy's native to the area
by NancyNo5 (see profile) 10/20/13
Our hostess served a few appetizers that were native to the area and a drink that was native to the British.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by krilljack (see profile) 07/04/20

 
  "The Gift of Rain"by KJmellen (see profile) 02/27/20

Beautifully written story of Malaya during WWII. Deals with family, identity, duty, separation. I highly recommend it.

 
by marysu (see profile) 07/12/16

 
  "A superb story filled with lush imagery and deep emotional and psychological drama."by NancyNo5 (see profile) 10/20/13

The Gift of Rain is the story of Philip Hutton. A 16 year old of half British/half Chinese parentage living in 1939 Penang (Malaysia). It appears Philip's inability to feel connected to eith... (read more)

 
  "The Gift Of Rain"by bcarroll (see profile) 09/13/13

Our book club rated this one highest this year so far, with a 9 out of 10. Everyone thought it was beautifully written, like reading art, one member said. Most thought the characters were believable.... (read more)

 
  "My favorite read ever!"by Ronswife (see profile) 01/22/13

Tan Twan Eng is an amazing story teller. The words he puts together are brilliant; the historical information he provides is fascinating, his characters are enigmatic. He puts you into the setting with... (read more)

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