The Promise of Rain

The Promise of Rain

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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Ethie Coulter was born after her father Howard returned from the war in 1945. She never knew him as he was before, never knew that he had been an open, loving man and a devoted husband. When his wife dies in bizarre circumstances, Howard must take on the burden of looking after eleven-year-old Ethie and her two older brothers. Howard was one of hundreds of Canadian soldiers sent to the Far East following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Surviving the fierce battle for Hong Kong, he became a POW, moving from camp to notorious camp, watching his friends die of disease, starvation and worse. Yet Howard carries more than the physical and mental scars inflicted by his captors. Something happened in Hong Kong, a secret that he has carried for nearly two decades. Ethie, inquisitive and fearless, will be the one to work her way towards the truth and help her father come to terms with the past.
Publisher: Toronto : McArthur, c2010
ISBN: 9781552788400
Branch Call Number: FIC MIL
Characteristics: 310 p. ; 23 cm

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d
Daphne57
Mar 19, 2013

Very good; Hong Kong in the 2nd WW; riveting.

u
uncommonreader
Aug 01, 2012

Very Canadian, very predictable, very readable, but not great.

d
dbed
Jan 17, 2012

Although it starts off a bit slow, by the end you cannot put it down.

Cdnbookworm May 18, 2011

This book has two related storylines. One is in 1962 and told in the voice of Ethie, who is eleven. Ethie has an older brother Frankie and another older brother, closer to her in age, Kipper. Kipper has Down's Syndrome. When Ethie's mother dies suddenly that summer, her father slips further away from the family before another crisis forces him to find his way back. The distance that Ethie's father Howard has sometimes had with his family is a result of his experiences in World War II. This leads us to the second storyline, which is Howard's experiences in World War II. Barely trained, Howard and his best friend Gordon left Winnipeg as new recruits and were sent off to Hong Kong. Poorly supplied, the two boys find life in Hong Kong slow at first and then find themselves in the middle of a deadly and vicious fight with the Japanese. They become POWs, but life is difficult and Howard undergoes experiences that change him forever. It is these experiences he has struggled with for years, not even talking to his wife about them. Now, with his wife's sudden death, his family's need, and people from the past reappearing in his life, he must face that past.
This is a very human story, and the emotions of the characters made it come alive for me. I could feel the situations they were in and how they reacted to them. A great read, that I could barely put down.

c
carmeljonas
May 11, 2011

Another great novel by Donna Milner. Loved her first book "After River" and this one certainly did not disappoint.

The book is based on actual events during World War 11 when Canadain soldiers untrained and unequipped were sent to Hong Kong to defend it from the Japanese. It tells the story of a returned soldier who must deal with his memories of what happened during that time,

i
ilicv
Apr 07, 2011

I loved Ms Milner's first novel 'After River' and this second one is very good too. It is a little too heavy when it comes to the descriptions of a notorious concentration camp in Hong Kong.

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