The Rainy Season

The Rainy Season 1

by Myfanwy Jones

Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe) Publication Date: 02/03/2009

4/5 Rating 1 Reviews

ELLA ARRIVES IN SAIGON as a single girl on a trip meant for two. Abandoned by her adored boyfriend and haunted by the mystery of her absent Vietnam veteran father, she loses herself in coconut rum and easy ex-pat friends. Sharing fractured pasts and uncertain futures, Ella begins to feel at home in a landscape scarred by war and betrayal. Hope is gradually returning to Vietnam. Hearts and minds are opening, and Ella finds herself falling in love with handsome French photographer Ariel. But will the heavy tropical rains be enough to wash away the ghosts of the past?

A sexy, soulful story about love, loss and learning to live again.

'The Rainy Season charts the most delicate shifts in pressure – of the heart, of the weather, of a city – a superbly atmospheric and deeply empathetic novel.' SOPHIE CUNNINGHAM, author of Geography and Bird.

Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe)
Publication Date:
Penguin Random House Australia

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • A very enjoyable read

    by on

    “Stepping out of the plane into the tropical night is like entering a steam room with a blindfold on. The black air is hot and damp and dense as wool and for a moment I feel like I’m going to choke. But there is no turning back. I wade down the metal staircase and onto a rusty shuttle bus. The terminal ahead sparkles blue, yellow and white”

    The Rainy Season is the first fiction book by Australian author, Myfanwy Jones. Despite the abrupt, unexpected and very recent end of her six-year-long relationship with Tim, Ella Morton embarks on the Vietnam trip they meticulously planned together. Tim believed that visiting significant places in that country would help Ella to cope with the sense of abandonment she had felt for most of her life. Peter Morton was for Ella “Always an absence, my father – a shadow, an outline, an echo”. He had returned from his tour of duty in Vietnam bodily intact, but suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and had disappeared from Ella’s life when she was five years old.

    Once in Saigon, however, Ella finds herself ignoring her itinerary, gradually developing relationships with local people and ex-pats and eventually extending her visa to take up a job offer. Against the backdrop of the lifting of the US trade embargo, Jones expertly captures the feel of Asia: humid, languid, yet bustling. The inclusion of common phrases in Vietnamese gives the novel authenticity and Jones’ personal experience shows in her portrayal of the ex-pat perspective: “Most of the expats I’ve met here are on the run from something, are a little unhinged”

    Readers may find Ella somewhat difficult to like, occasionally wanting to give her a good shake and yell at her to wake up to herself. Her behaviour disappointing at times, although she matures perceptibly in later chapters. Jones gives some of her characters words of wisdom: Buddhist nun Co Ngoc tells Ella “Every person can teach. Every person can learn” and “’Everything is always changing,’ she says, calmly. ‘Some things will be lost, some things will be gained.’”; Ella herself notes “May be we are all an itchy mix of fragile and strong”.

    Jones treats the reader to some beautiful descriptive prose: “… it is like someone has sprinkled a fine coating of amphetamine over the whole city and everything has shifted into overdrive: office buildings shooting up like weeds, daily announcements of new joint ventures; laws being made and changed by the hour” and while the ending may feel to some degree inconclusive it does leave the reader with a sense of potential. This is a novel that will appeal to those who have been to Vietnam, although this is certainly not a prerequisite. A very enjoyable read.