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Certainty By Madeleine Thien,

  • Title: Certainty
  • Author: Madeleine Thien
  • ISBN: 9780316834995
  • Page: 360
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Madeleine Thien s stunning debut novel hauntingly retells a crucial moment in history, through two unforgettable love stories Gail Lim, a producer of radio documentaries, is haunted by the mystery of her father s Asian past As a child, Gail s father, Matthew Lim, lived in a Malaysian village occupied by the Japanese He and his beloved Ani wandered the jungle fringe undeMadeleine Thien s stunning debut novel hauntingly retells a crucial moment in history, through two unforgettable love stories Gail Lim, a producer of radio documentaries, is haunted by the mystery of her father s Asian past As a child, Gail s father, Matthew Lim, lived in a Malaysian village occupied by the Japanese He and his beloved Ani wandered the jungle fringe under the terrifying shadow of war The war shattered their families, splitting the two apart until a brief reunion years later Matthew s profound connection to Ani and the life changing secrets they shared cast a shadow that, later still, Matthew s wife, Clara, desperately sought to understand Gail s journey to unravel the mystery of her parents lives takes her to Amsterdam, where she unearths about this mysterious other woman But as Gail approaches the truth, Ani s story will bring Gail face to face, with the untold mysteries of her own life Vivid, poignant, and written in understated yet powerful prose, Certainty is a novel about the legacies of loss, the dislocations of war, and the timeless redemption afforded by love.
    Certainty Madeleine Thien s stunning debut novel hauntingly retells a crucial moment in history through two unforgettable love stories Gail Lim a producer of radio documentaries is haunted by the mystery of

    One thought on “Certainty”

    1. I was at the 2017 Baileys shortlist group reading in London, ahead of the winning book announcement I overheard the comment that the reading style, body language, and general interaction of the authors with their fellow finalists, and their audience, is a good marker for the writing style that each brings to their craft.That s certainly true of Madeleine Thien who is such a gentle, giving and sincere person.Certainty , her first novel is a gentle, rather sad, story It s one centred around loving [...]

    2. If I wasn t so obsessed with keeping my books in such pristine condition, I would have read this book with a highlighter in hand, ready to set apart those passages that demonstrate the written word as a true art form There were many, some that moved me to tears, which hasn t happened since I read The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, one of my favourite books of all time.Thien clearly has enormous talent as stated on the back of the book, Thien has a flair for imagery, and I wholeheartedly agree [...]

    3. 3.5 stars The main problem with this book is that it s overly ambitious It jumps from character to character, present to past, and country to country to tie together storylines about love, trauma, and unwieldy memories As a consequence, most of the characters end up flat and forgettable But the thing that makes this book special is the main present storyline, which examines the loss of a young woman with understated, incredible beauty One of the best portraits of grief I ve ever read And as in a [...]

    4. Do Not Say We Have Nothing is the best novel I ve ever read, so I was interested and a little nervous to read this, Thien s debut novel I loved it so much too Of course it s not the masterpiece that DNSWHN is, but Thien sensitively explores many of the same themes here grief, war, and displacement tearing families and psyches asunder, an intercontinental love triangle, a near indecipherable diary DNSWHN was no fluke I m calling it Thien is my favorite novelist.

    5. I have not always been thrilled by the list put out by the CBC of the Top 100 Canadian Books I mean, I ll read the whole thing if it kills me, but the list itself was far to heavily weighted towards books that had come out in the five years before it was compiled And so, many of the books on it have left me a little baffled as to why they re there, other than that they re recent, and it probably pleased the publishers.Note The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in policy an [...]

    6. Ah award winning Can Lit Yawn If it is multi ethnic, multi generational, is written poetically and is dull as dishwater bring on the Canadian Writing Awards Of course I love Canadian writing but this is SO completely Can Lit pleasing and not interesting at all The only bits I liked were the ones set in Strathcona because I recognized the neighborhood.

    7. I adore this book Although I ve just finished it I already know I ll read it again Thien again works her masterful storytelling and unearthly grasp of both the art of writing and the complexity of human emotion with seamless grace and fluidity Her stories are complicated, but her characters are breathtakingly vulnerable and accessible Genius.

    8. At its most essential, Canadian writer Madeleine Thien s resonant, richly textured first novel, Certainty, explores questions of how possible it is to know another person, even a person we love, and how to live with that uncertainty.Beginning in present day Vancouver with Ansel, a physician wracked with grief and guilt after the untimely death of his 39 year old partner, Gail, Certainty unfolds through overlapping narratives that follow twining streams of memory to North Borneo during the brutal [...]

    9. After all the discussion about this book on the CBC page, as well as other sites I finally got a chance to read it The novel is beautifully written, tells a compelling story about the war in North Borneo, as well as side side stories about immigration, radio documentaries, and a few love stories My issue was that I felt very removed from all of the characters because the narrative voice kept changing voices Despite the love stories I was somewhat unmoved, and that bothered me I found the story o [...]

    10. I felt the pace got too meandering and too slow, and the main characters were emotionally disconnected from each other

    11. The opening of Canadian writer Madeleine Thien s Certainty is one of the most exquisitely crafted passages I have read in a while Still half asleep, a man rolls towards his sleeping lover But this is only what was to have been the future , and by the end of the passage, as the man sits drinking coffee while the sun rises, you realise that his lover is not there, that she lives only in his memory.Nominated for the Kiriyama Prize, which recognises books about the Pacific Rim and South Asia, this i [...]

    12. O poveste frumoas scris prost, tradus i mai prost i cu o redactare aproape inexistent M a iritat la culme traducerea redactarea, a a c m am concentrat cu greu la povestea n sine Seam n foarte bine cu oapta inimii de Jan Philipp Sendker, doar c pendularea trecut prezent imaginar real este foarte obositoare Nu am reu it s mi dau seama la ce se refer titlul Oare la certitudinea dragostei dintre doi oameni, dintre p rin i i copii Sau la certitudinea c l cuno ti bine pe cel de l ng tine Poate la cert [...]

    13. Not worth working through the 300 pages The book had the potential of being interesting with the need to uncover a mystery and I would even say I liked the way it was written in flashbacks But the characters were lacking The were several times where I would stop and ask who are we talking about this time And the plot with Gail seems incomplete I feel as though there s to the story that was forgotten Disappointed on this one.

    14. A spare and dreamy story that twists in and out of time I am a quiet and reserved person and I related to the silence and space that the characters in the book held around them I am very conscious of whether to share things to unburden myself, or to withhold in order not to burden others I don t know of other books that have treated this theme The language created beautiful word pictures and sensations Such a contrast to the shouty, me first drama queen world out there.

    15. This was such a boring book Throughout the book I kept thinking what was the point in the story, but it never occured to me at all I don t really understand what the writer wanted to tell with this book, so in my eyes it s completely useless There were some parts that were written nicely, but that s about it.

    16. I found it hard to pay attention to this book It was an interesting story but told mostly in flashback The characters changed so often that I was unable to form much connection to any of them I do not recommend it.

    17. Must give this beautifully written book 5 stars.A story about remembrance, secrets kept, scars of war, loneliness, love, home Things that stay the same regardless of the passing of time Depth of feeling, connection Sorrow of betrayal Forgiveness Thien covers so much in this book, gives us a lot to pause and to think about.Main characters friends Matthew and Ani as 10 year olds in Malaysia just before the war is over, 1945 What they see, hear, experience and lose their fathers, their families and [...]

    18. Re read this Aug 26 27, 2015 Such beautiful writing on every page And the threads of story woven and interwoven are complex and richly textured And in addition, the tone is so poetic and lush.Favorite passages There is the understanding that she is no longer here, that it was sudden and irrevocable, but this understanding is one moment spread over a thousand hours, a continuous thought that tries to forget itself And then, when that fails, to bargain, to change everything, to fall asleep and go [...]

    19. The debut novel by a recent Giller Prize winner It tells the stories of 2 generations currently living in Vancouver but ultimately revealing the past beginning in North Borneo during World War II The exploration of grief, the effects on loving relationships of war time survival and the slowly revealing history of the characters is compelling Having said all that, for some reason I had trouble keeping track of events as the narrators shifted from chapter to chapter So, I wasn t as engaged as I mi [...]

    20. A very strong start with a poignant tender ending, the only thing that did not work for me was the emphasis on too many characters and storylines The experience of grief in this book is palpable and in my opinion its strongest part Thien s writing retains its charming softness and is a joy to read.

    21. Thien s first novel shows her narrative strengths that will be fully utilised in Do Not Say We Have Nothing She weaves stories together very well although the result is not as clean and satisfying as it is in her later work I did not like that some of the threads were not tied up neatly Otherwise, a very good story.

    22. I liked it but was left alone without a storyline to keep me going I liked the Vancouver setting and the role of parenting and the deep understanding of grief.

    23. Always a pleasure to discover relatively recent noteworthy additions to the Asian American Canadian canon.

    24. I realized that I liked this book after my second time reading it A year ago I gave it three stars, feeling that it didn t live up to Simple Recipes , but I ve changed my mind after spending another month re reading the story That rarely happens to me, but in this case, Madeleine s beautiful writing became even clearer and intricate after I revisited the book I felt like I was reading an entirely new novel, with new depth and dimensions of emotions unfolding themselves within Thien s prose lik [...]

    25. ayearofbooksblog 2016 07 As I continue my month of reading Canadian authors, Certainty came from the CBC List of Novels that Make You Proud to be Canadian Madeleine Thien first published a book of short stories and Certainty was her first and award wining novel She is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia but the back cover notes that she currently lives in Quebec City.Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character beginning in Vancouver, where Ansel is grieving the los [...]

    26. hmmm where do i begin 3 reasons made me picked up this book 1 the obvious picture i have the other cover book of a boy pedaling a bicycle with a native girl with a pink flower skirt at the back who has that curious look looking behind from a familiar landscape 2 the caption at the cover Brought together by war , torn apart by love 3 Alice Munro review after finished reading it i must say this is the classic example of never judge a book by its cover Supposedly a love story , i did not see any ma [...]

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