Certainty

Certainty

A Novel

eBook - 2007
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Gail Lim's professional life is devoted to getting people to tell her the truth about themselves, and she has always been extraordinarily good at it. But the one story she has never been able to wrest out-and that she aches to know-is that of her father's past in war-torn Asia. As a child, Matthew Lim lived in a Malaysian village occupied by the Japanese. He and his beloved Ani wandered the jungle fringe under the terrifying pall of war. The aftermath of the occupation shattered their families, splitting the two apart until a brief reunion years later. But the secrets Matthew and Ani shared cast a shadow over his life that his daughter now desperately seeks to understand. As Gail pieces together a story that spans six decades and four continents, her search for the truth about her father takes her to Holland, where she finally unearths more about the mysterious Ani. But as the complex love triangle that shaped her parents' fates comes into focus, Gail also arrives face-to-face with the most painful choices in her own life.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2007
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780759572324
0759572321
Branch Call Number: EBOOK OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 312 pages ; 22 cm

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re_discover
Feb 02, 2018

I read Certainty for my 2018 Reading Challenge in the category of "A book with a one word title." It is also a book in the Ottawa Public Library's evening book club (Rideau- April, 2018). I had heard a lot about Do Not Say We Have Nothing, so I had high expectations. I couldn't connect with the characters or the morose ending.

s
spiderfelt_0
Jan 29, 2017

There are as many ways to grieve as there are ways to love and to lose someone. This story dips into lives starting in Japanese occupied Borneo, through modern day Vancouver and Friesland, the Netherlands, illuminating a little bit of the story with each shift in perspective. The author wove medicine, history, cryptography, and radio into the narrative seamlessly, as if these areas of specialty were within her ordinary body of knowledge.

s
Shabash
Nov 15, 2014

I read this book as part of the UBC Alumni Association's book club and was really excited to read something from a local author. Unfortunately, the book fell flat. I think it tried to be profound but failed.

WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 17, 2013

There is no certainty in this life; whether in times of war or in times of peace. Young Matthew finds his world turned upside down when his father is killed during the brutal occupation of Indonesia during WWII and then again years later in Vancouver when his own daughter dies unexpectedly. The story moves back and forth in time between the two generations through the eyes of the father, daughter and those they love. A haunting and poetic debut novel from the Canadian award winning author of Simple Recipes.

g
gailygirl
Sep 15, 2007

When I began this novel I couldn't help thinking "pretentious" but I soon changed that thought to "profound." Brilliant also comes to mind. An absolute jewel of a novel - perfect for book clubs too.

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