About the book
“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, 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 discovers a sense of belonging in his unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat who rents a nearby 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 becomes 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 he has helped bring upon them.” (source goodreads)
Finally finished this book. The title itself got my curiosity, but then I was drawn into the pages. I feel in love by the innocence of Philip and was intrigued as well by Endo. (Let’s just say I’m quite fascinated about the Japonese culture). Plus, where the story is set, the pacific WWII, which is not nearly documented as what happened in Europe. The story flows beautifully between present and past. You get such a connection with Philip that you almost want to fly into the book and help him to the right choices. I really enjoyed his granddad, and it was a shame for me he was not more present in the rest of the story.
A must read.
Books read so far: 4