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Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan
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Rainbirds

by Clarissa Goenawan

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12422140,333 (3.65)4

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
The writing was not great and many of the characters were flat. Also, the ending was not as satisfying as I had hoped it would be. Interesting setting and storyline, but I think the author failed to deliver on the plot. 2.5⭐️ ( )
  redwritinghood38 | Nov 6, 2018 |
This was a very hard book to get into. It took me all month to read it as I was not too excited about picking it up again after putting it down. I found it very disjointed and the main character was very unprofessional. The author had a good idea for a plot but didn’t carry it off too well. Hopefully she can redeem herself with a better book next time. ( )
  EadieB | Oct 31, 2018 |
Deliciously depressing.
Ren Ishida has traveled to the small town of Akakawa from Tokyo to settle up his newly departed sister's affairs. In trying to discover a little bit about his sister's life and perhaps even her death, odd things begin to happen to him and puzzles seem to present themselves. Can Ren discover the mystery behind his sister's murder? Or will her Secrets die in this small town?
Although this 321 page novel is well written and begins very well I lost interest after about page 150. The author has a very gifted way of painting the scenes for you and giving not too much detail but just enough to where you can actually feel that you are in the book and seeing what the main character is seeing. I still have this taste of ramen noodles in my mouth after reading this book.
The characters have lots of depth and are very well developed.
The plot however is a different story. Or maybe not the plot itself but perhaps it's getting to the point that was the problem. I've never read a book that I both liked and disliked at the same time before so it's hard for me to describe.
I like the beginning very much. The author hits the ground running and keeps you guessing long enough to keep you interested until about halfway through the novel. That is when things start to drag out and seem to become monotonous.
The ending, though surprising, was also very lackluster. I don't know maybe with the build-up from the beginning I was expecting a little bit more.
All in all I'd have to say that I would recommend this book to a very select audience of readers. Definitely people who don't mind a very depressing novel that goes downhill steadily from beginning to end. ( )
  TheReadingMermaid | Aug 28, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
While the premise to this sibling mystery sounds appealing, I had a lot of trouble getting into the story because of the halting voice of the narrator. I do not like his cadence or pace and I will have to read the book apart from this audiobook. ( )
  StefanieGeeks | Aug 12, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a beautiful, lyrical audiobook that absolutely benefits from the format. It was slow for me, something that I feel must have worked better in a print version. I might listen to it again for background noise, but I'm not sure the narrative style worked for me 100%. ( )
  fowlie | Jun 18, 2018 |
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Book description
Intertwining elements of suspense and magical realism, award-winning literary debut RAINBIRDS opens with a murder and shines a spotlight on life in fictional small-town Japan.

Ren Ishida is nearly done with graduate school when he receives news of his sister, Keiko’s, sudden death. She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, failing to understand why she chose to abandon their family and leave Tokyo for this small town in the first place.

But Ren soon finds himself picking up right where Keiko left off, accepting both her teaching position at a cram school and the bizarre arrangement of free lodging at the wealthy Mr. Katou’s mansion, in exchange for reading aloud each morning to Katou’s depressed, mute wife. As Ren gets to know the figures in the town, from the mysterious Katou to fellow teachers and a rebellious, alluring student named Rio, he replays memories of his childhood with Keiko and finds his dreams haunted by a young girl with pigtails who is desperately trying to tell him something. Struggling to fill the void that Keiko has left behind, Ren realizes that perhaps people don’t change, and if they don’t, he can decipher the identity of his sister’s killer.
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"Clarissa Goenawan's dark, spellbinding literary debut opens with a murder and shines a spotlight onto life in fictional small-town Japan. Ren Ishida is nearly finished with graduate school when he receives news of his sister, Keiko's, sudden death. She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister's affairs, still failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate town years ago. But Ren soon finds himself picking up where Keiko left off, accepting both her teaching position at a local cram school and the bizarre arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician's mansion in exchange for reading to the man's catatonic wife. As he comes to know the figures in Akakawa, from the enigmatic politician to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, alluring student named Rio, Ren delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed, trying to piece together what happened the night of her death. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren struggles to find solace in the void his sister has left behind"--… (more)

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