The Gift of Rain Summary
Tan Twan Eng

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  • The Gift of Rain Summary & Study Guide

The Gift of Rain Overview

Tan Twan Eng’s debut novel, The Gift of Rain, chronicles the life story of Philip Hutton and the many tragedies that befall him and his family in the periods before, during, and after the Japanese occupation of modern day Malaysia in World War II. Told from the first person perspective, The Gift of Rain makes keen use of nested narrators to tell the story. It is Philip himself telling the story to another, looking back on his past as an old man. In this past, a lonely half-Chinese, half-British boy meets a mysterious Japanese man and is entangled in the subterfuge and plots of warring countries, all while his family pays the ultimate price for his actions. Tan Twan Eng’s masterpiece explores themes of multi-culturalism, colonialism, free-will and determinism, and where one’s home is.

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