Published: 6 April 2017
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 320 pages
In present-day Vancouver, Gail Lim, a producer of radio documentaries, is haunted by the mysterious events in her father's childhood in war-torn Asia, and using her skills as a journalist is driven to unravel the mystery of his past. As a boy, Matthew Lim hid in the jungle fringe near Leila Road in Japanese-occupied Sandakan, North Borneo, with Ani, a girl whose friendship shapes the rest of his life. Together they barely survive the terrifying events of the war, which shatters their families and ultimately splits them apart - until years later, they meet again, only to endure another separation.
At once sweeping and intimate, Certainty crosses continents, cultures and time to explore the legacies of loss, the dislocations of war and the redemptive qualities of love.
‘A nuanced study of love, displacement and the quicksilver nature of certitude, its prose gleams with emotional clarity’
‘Compelling and thoughtful . . . Thien has a gift for beautifully shaped images that she uses to powerful effect’
‘Confident, captivating, surprising and engaging... Each character offers something distinctly charming and real. All illumine different facets of humanity, war and the distortion of perception and memory, and each perspective has the potential to rewrite the story anew’
‘Thien spins a silky web of a story, a lovely and powerful multigenerational saga... [her] prose casts a certain dreamlike quality to the tale, and yet the magnetic plot will keep the reader's interest through the end’
‘Told with a deep, elegiac sense of life . . . [a] subtle work of desperate kinship and lost worlds’