Rainbirds

Rainbirds Review

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.

Title:Rainbirds
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Diane S ?

    3.5 There is something so distinctive about Japanese novels. The spare writing for one, not that there are no descriptions, but only as much as the reader needs to know for the story, no words wasted....

  • Holly  B

    A whodunit based in Japan.A character study with a Japanese flair. There is a mystery, but this one is really a literary fiction with some moments of suspense and plenty of secrets to unravel. I was e...

  • Elisa Lodato

    I was fortunate enough to receive an Advance Review Copy of this novel which comes out next year.Fans of Murakami will not be disappointed by this lyrical, spell-binding evocation of a narrator who fi...

  • Kathleen Flynn

    Written in a spare, minimalist style with hints of magical realism that feels very Japanese, Rainbirds tells the story of a man in his 20s whose older sister is murdered. He leaves Tokyo for the small...

  • Caroline Ambrose

    RAINBIRDS is a compelling and thoughtful story set in Japan in 1994. It's the story of Ren Ishida whose sister, Keiko, has just been murdered in her prime. Ren moves to the small town where Keiko live...

  • Julia Buckley

    This book was a pleasant surprise--spare and lyrical prose in what seemed part Japanese novel, part mystery, part poetry. While the plot didn't always go in the direction I imagined it would and a few...

  • Carol Potenza

    I received an advance uncopyedited edition of Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan from a Goodreads giveaway. It might not have been a book I picked up, but the cover drew me, as did the blurbs. This book, ...

  • Abduraafi Andrian

    Ulasan di Jurnal Ruang: https://jurnalruang.com/read/15221423...Percakapan-percakapan yang diciptakan di dalamnya begitu luruh, membuatku ikut hanyut bersama para tokoh. Aku bahkan ingin memulai semua...

  • Kate Olson

    A quietly wonderful literary family mystery set in a small town in Japan, this is a debut that I am SO happy I had the chance to read early. This is NOT a thriller or a fast-paced suspense story. It I...

  • Book of the Month

    Why I Love Itby BOTM Editorial Director Siobhan JonesPart of being on the editorial team here at BOTM means that I read the opening chapters of literally dozens of books each month. When I come across...