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Review & Tour: Rainbirds

Rainbirds

Rainbirds
By Clarissa Goenawan
Soho Press, 9781616958558, March 2018, 336pp.

The Short of It:

Readers of Haruki Murakami will absolutely love Rainbirds. It has all the elements that I enjoy in Japanese literature yet still presents its own unique voice.

The Rest of It:

Ren Ishida’s sister has been murdered. The situation surrounding her death is rather mysterious. Not a lot is known and since Ren and his sister haven’t seen each other recently, he’s not able to contribute any valuable information towards the investigation. Nonetheless,  he feels compelled to visit the place of her death and to perhaps retrieve her belongings with the hope of finding some key piece of evidence.

In the process, he finds himself living in her old room and teaching in her previous teaching position. He meets a woman who does not speak, a young student who has a mysterious way of showing up every time he thinks of her, a childhood friend he hasn’t seen in years and he is continually visited in his dreams by a young girl in pigtails. Who is she? What is she trying to tell him? Does she know something about his sister’s death?

As a Murakami fan, I noted mentions of ears, music, food and cats. Yep, they are all here.

I LOVED Rainbirds. It’s one of those quiet, introspective reads that I adore. It’s thoughtful, very much a page-turner and the story is fluid and seamless. I highly recommend it.

Clarissa Goenawan

For more information on the author, click here.

TLC Book Tours

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach
By Jennifer Egan
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781476716732, October 3, 2017, 448pp.

The Short of It:

A satisfying, well-told story about a young woman’s contribution to the war effort and how her family’s history shapes who she is.

The Rest of It:

The story begins with young Anna and her father Eddie, visiting the illustrious gangster Dexter Styles. Eddie needs the money for a special wheelchair for his crippled daughter, Anna’s younger sister Lydia so as a last resort, Eddie accepts the job that Dexter offers. Dexter is taken by Anna’s youth and her bold display of strength while visiting his home in Manhattan Beach. Years later, that brief encounter is remembered when Anna and Dexter meet again.

There is a lot of great storytelling in Manhattan Beach. Anna’s dedication to her sister Lydia, is fully explored as is her love of the sea and her inevitable path to becoming a diver for the war effort. Anna’s complex relationship with her father and the diving details Egan includes had me turning the pages quickly. Nothing felt rushed. Egan takes her time and the story unfolds effortlessly. I’ve read a few of her other books but this one by far is my favorite and I do not normally enjoy novels centered around war.

It’s early in the year but this could end up being on my list of faves for 2018.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.