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Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan
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Rainbirds (edition 2018)

by Clarissa Goenawan (Author)

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19225103,091 (3.49)6
"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)
Member:redwritinghood38
Title:Rainbirds
Authors:Clarissa Goenawan (Author)
Info:Soho Press (2018), 337 pages
Collections:Your library
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Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I listened to this 8 disc book over a period of several months. This is a mystery drama read by a man who does a great job with character voices. This book is long and descriptive. I like rich descriptions, but there were many times that I became lost and was unable to follow the story. I'm still not sure what connections existed between the sister and her supposed killer. I would have a hard time recommending this book to anyone else, unfortunately. ( )
  niquetteb | May 4, 2019 |
This entire book seem shrouded in mystery. Not in an unpleasant way, but it was definitely vague and difficult to tell where the story was heading. The twists towards the end of the book that lead to the solving of the murder seem to come from nowhere. However, the small town is finely detailed and the characters and the peripheral characters and quirky and interesting. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
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 |
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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"--

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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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