Image of Rainbirds


Image of Rainbirds

Goenawan pens a phenomenal debut that will grab readers from the beginning. The timing of the tale is nearly perfect, and the writing is both poignant and captivating. Readers sympathize with Ren Ishida and his quest to find his sister's killer. Goenawan brings him to life realistically and readers are moved by his journey of self discovery. The plot is interesting and engaging, and the attention to Japanese culture feels authentic. Rainbirds puts Clarissa Goenawan on the map!

Ren Ishida is about to graduate from the prestigious Keio University when he gets news that his sister was murdered in Akakawa, a small town outside of Tokyo. Ren is tasked with taking care of her belongings and loose ends, which lands him in Akakawa and taking over his sister's teaching position at the local cram school. The closer Ren gets to finding out who killed his sister, the more he also discovers about himself. Through all of this, Ren realizes that there is beauty in the most unlikely places — and danger as well. (SOHO PRESS, Mar., 336 pp., $25.00)
Reviewed by: 
Sarah Frobisher