Monday, November 2, 2009

The Gift of Rain

Yesterday my book choice for the book club was due so I hurried to finish it. Insha Allah you have all finished it too. I chose this book because it is about Malaysia; the homeland of my spouse. The author is chinese and the main character is half Chinese and half British. The story takes place mostly during the second world war. Overall I like the writing style of the author but I did find the story a little dragged out. I learned a lot about the Japanese occupation in Malaysia which was of interest to me since my in-laws lived through this time. Aikido was also a big part of this story and I felt like I had martial arts on the brain all the time due to this book and my kids Tae Kwon Do lessons. Penang Island is the exact location for most of the story and its a place I haven't been to in Malaysia so the description was also very enlightening. Although this story takes place in Malaya (Malaysia pre-Indepence) the emphasis is mostly on Chinese,British and Japanese people. This feels odd because the majority of people has always been the Malays. They don't seem to figure at all in the story though and seem more like wallpaper. I know that they weren't part of the main story but it would have been nice to see a little malay culture or one malay character in the book besides the use of the word lah and a few malay words like makan and a few malay dishes. Next time I read a book about Malaysia I hope to find better malay characters and references. This was a very dark story about a very dark period of time but I liked the conclusion at the end about the meaning of life; it sounded pretty islamic even though it was reached through a combination of Buddhist and Christian theology.


  1. Here is Sketched Soul's review. I promise I didn't read it first.

  2. Here is another review and reviews for other Malaysian fiction.