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The Rainy Season is successful on many levels. Primarily, it’s the story of a young woman coming to terms with her feelings of rejection and gaining a sense of herself; but it’s also a vivid picture of expatriate life, the exuberance and recklessness of youth, a tortured country coming to terms with change, and the agony of the once-young fighters who were largely reviled or unacknowledged when they got home. Finally, it is a vibrant description of a lively, chaotic and contradictory city and culture. A wonderful achievement.
Her eye for detail is sharp and sensual and she has written her first novel with great feeling... It is a soulful story, rich with the atmosphere of Vietnam - the bars, the bikes, the stall-vendors, the street-sweepers, coconut rum. I was moved by the way her story reveals the connectedness between Australia and Vietnam and how this connectedness is both sad and ultimately hopeful.
Love lost, and how it re-inscribes the losses of childhood, has seldom been captured more tenderly than in this poignant, beautiful novel.
It’s a real first-love story, a family-secrets story, and it’s full of luscious, picturesque scenery; for anyone who wants to be reminded of how any of that felt, or who are thinking of travelling, it’s a great read.
‘An effective critique of Australia’s treatment of Vietnam vets and a lively and evocative account of Saigon. ‘
It’s the love story that draws you in... I couldn’t put it down.