Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Read The World - Malaysia - The Gift Of Rain

Book: The Gift of Rain
Author: Tan Twan Eng
Pages: 450
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO

Okay - confession time.  I started to read this book yesterday, got 20 pages in and it started to sound very familiar.  I read a few more pages, and then became convinced.  I did a back search on my blog and yes, I had read it before.  I don't know how I missed it when I was doing a search for countries.  

I read this book in 2016.  So I am going to post my review from then.

This is the story of 16 year old Phillip Hutton.  He is half Chinese, half English and from a prominent family in Penang.  While his siblings and father are away on vacation, he chooses to stay home alone.  He gets to know Hayato Endo who is a Japanese diplomat.  Philip spends time showing Endo around and in return Endo teaches him Japanese and aikido.  When the Japanese invade Malaya, Phillip learns that Endo is a Japanese spy.  It is clear that Endo has taught Philip aikido to help save his life and possibly the life of his family.

This is a pretty good book.  I have to admit I had a hard time getting into it.  I don't think it was the book's fault, though.  I think it was when I was trying to read it, so I don't want to judge it too harshly.  I did like the characters.  Endo-san and Phillip develop almost a father/son relationship.  Since Phillip's mother had died when he was a baby, and she was his Chinese ancestor, he never felt as close to his father and half siblings.  This book does a good job mixing the three cultures together - Western, Chinese, and Japanese.

I have read a lot of WWII books/pre-WWII books, but this is the first one from Southeast Asia.  I recommend trying it out.

Stars: 4

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