Bangkok Wakes to Rain

Pitchaya Sudbanthad
A house in Bangkok is the confluence of lives shaped by upheaval, memory, and the lure of home. "Important, ambitious, and accomplished... Sudbanthad deftly sweeps us up in a tale that paints a twin portrait: of a megacity... and of a world where sanctuary is increasingly hard to come by." --Mohsin Hamid, New York Times bestselling author of Exit West A missionary doctor pines for his native New England even as he succumbs to the vibrant chaos of nineteenth-century Siam. A post-WWII society woman marries, mothers, and holds court, little suspecting her solitary future. A jazz pianist in the age of rock, haunted by his own ghosts, is summoned to appease the resident spirits. A young woman tries to outpace the long shadow of her political past. And in New Krungthep, savvy teenagers row tourists past landmarks of the drowned old city they themselves do not remember. Time collapses as these stories collide and converge, linked by the forces voraciously making and remaking the amphibious, ever-morphing capital itself.


Reviewed: 2020-06-18
I admire that this book takes some big swings, even if it doesn't always connect. The brief dip into futuristic cityscape is unexpected and fun. Strongest parts are present day Bangkok. Rare to think a book needs to be longer, but it felt like the world-building for each time period didn't have enough space to take root.
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