Book - 2006
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"Gail Lim, a producer of radio documentaries in present-day Vancouver, finds herself haunted by events in her parents’ past in wartorn Asia, a past which remains a mystery that fiercely grips her imagination. As a child, Gail’s father, Matthew Lim, wandered the Leila Road and the jungle fringe with his lovely Ani, a girl whose early bond with Matthew will affect his life always. As children, they found themselves together under the terrifying shadow of war in Japanese-occupied Sandakan, Malaysia. The war shatters their families and splits the two apart until years later, when they remeet only to be separated again. The legacy of their connection is later inherited by Matthew’s wife, Clara, in unexpected ways. Gail’s journey to unravel the mystery of her parents’ lives takes her to Amsterdam, where she meets the war photographer Sipke, who tells his story of Ani and their relationship, which began in Jakarta, a story that will bring Gail face to face with the complications in her own life and lead her closer to the truth. Vivid, poignant, wise, at once sweeping and intimate, Certainty is a novel about the legacies of loss, about the dislocations of war and the redemptive qualities of love."--McClelland & Stewart.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2006
Branch Call Number: FICTION THI
Characteristics: 311 p. ; 23 cm


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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.

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.

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.

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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