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Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan
Literary fiction


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Clarissa Goenawan on your first novel!

by Clarissa Goenawan

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, our warehouse team is operating slower than usual. We are limiting the number of titles available and this book cannot ship this month.

Quick take

Set in Japan, _Rainbirds_ is a quietly powerful novel about a young man searching for answers in the wake of his sister's murder.

Good to know

  • Heavy read

  • Psychological

  • Cerebral

  • International


  • Plot is not action-oriented
  • Exposition is cerebral in nature
  • Occasional dark themes

Why I love it

Part 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 a story that makes me slow down and not look up until I’ve read from cover to cover, I know I’ve found something special.

This happened to me with Rainbirds. The writing grabbed me immediately—it’s whispery and elegant. Even the chapter titles...


Ren Ishida has nearly completed his graduate degree at Keio University when he receives news of his sister’s violent death. Keiko was stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, failing to understand why she chose to turn her back on the family and Tokyo for this desolate place years ago.

But then Ren is offered Keiko’s...

Member thoughts

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2126 ratings
  • 19% Love
  • 57% Like
  • 21% Dislike
    March 2018