"The one impression that remains now is of rain, falling from a bank of low floating clouds,smearing the landscape into a Chinese brush painting. Sometimes it rained so often I wondered why the colours around me never faded, were never washed away, leaving the world in mouldy hues".
from The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng
It's pretty damp, too, in the park, the air heavy with water, when I've finished the novel and the rain has briefly stopped and I venture out for a Sunday afternoon walk. Especially around the lake, a sodden, spooky micro-climate chimes with the misty landscape, rich cultural histories and terrible tales of war in Malaya that fill my mind. The Gift of Rain is a fine, deep, reading experience, as compelling as it is troubling.