BookBrowse Reviews The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Gift of Rain

A Novel

by Tan Twan Eng

The Gift of Rain
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2008, 448 pages
    May 2009, 448 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book



An epic debut nominated for the Man Booker Prize, which tells the story of a boy's perilous journey through the betrayals of war and into manhood

The Gift of Rain should be high on readers' lists if for no other reason than its lyrical narrative style. From the first page the author spins a web of words around the reader, drawing him or her into the sounds, sights and smells of Malaya:

"The light was fading and the scent of wet grass wove through the air like threads entwining with the perfume of the flowers, creating an intricate tapestry of fragrance. I was out on the terrace, alone as I had been for many years, on the edge of sleep, dreaming of another life. The door chimes echo through the house, hesitant, unfamiliar in a place they seldom entered, like a cat placing a tentative paw on a path it does not habitually walk."

The book is divided into two parts. The first half sets the stage. Phillip meets Endo and begins his ...

About the Author
Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang, but lived in various places in Malaysia as a child. He studied law through the University of London, and later worked as an advocate and solicitor (attorney) in one of Kuala Lumpur's most reputable law firms. He has a first-dan ranking in akido and is a strong proponent for the conservation of heritage buildings. After spending a year traveling around South Africa he has currently settled in Cape Town where he is working on his second book.

Read his interview at BookBrowse.

Useful to Note
In traditional Chinese style, the family name precedes the given name(s). Tan is the author's family name, Twan Eng his given names. Some authors choose to anglicize their names for the purposes of publishing in ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today

Member Login

Library Patrons

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.