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The Gift of Rain

About the Book

The Gift of Rain

Written in lush, evocative prose, The Gift of Rain spans decades as it takes readers from the final days of the Chinese emperors to the dying era of the British Empire, and through the mystical temples, bustling cities, and forbidding rain forests of Malaya.

In 1939, sixteen-year-old Philip Hutton --- the half-Chinese youngest child of the head of one of Penang’s great trading families --- feels alienated from both the British and Chinese communities. He discovers a sense of belonging in his unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat who rents an island from his father. Philip proudly shows his new friend around his adored island of Penang, 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. As World War II rages in Europe, the Japanese savagely invade Malaya, and 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 he is forced into collaborating with the Japanese to safeguard his family. He turns into the ultimate outsider, trusted by none and hated by many.

Tormented by his part in the events, Philip risks everything by working in secret to save as many people as he can from the brutality of the invaders. The Gift of Rain is shot through with universal themes, a novel about agonizingly divided loyalties and unbearable loss. But it is also about human courage and --- ultimately --- about the nature of enduring loyalty.

The Gift of Rain
by Tan Twan Eng

  • Publication Date: May 1, 2008
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Weinstein Books
  • ISBN-10: 1602860246
  • ISBN-13: 9781602860247