[Curious Reads] Rain Tree by Mahita Vas

28 Aug 2017
Article and photo by Grace Phua / @curiousbookreviewer
Edited by Sam Kee

Curiosity level: Quietly riveting, all 418 pages of it  

“Love? What do you know about love? You read too many English books lah, Ani." – p. 414 

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Young Indian girl Ani suddenly finds herself married to a brutish husband who does not love her. Later, Ani gets tricked into living in a house known as the Rain Tree as a servant, with a bigoted mistress who dislikes her. She believes things cannot get any worse. But as her misery grows, her love for books grows too. 

Ani's wicked family-friends taunt her, her husband abuses her, and the employer is hell-bent on ruining her life. What could Ani do? As the madness piles on, Ani is confronted with the reality and the imaginary book-world. What will happen when she pits her wonder against the world's? 

A brilliant and beautifully-woven Singaporean novel that celebrates – in a parody/satire of the Jane Austen-ish style – the life of a struggling but strong Indian girl, who experiences the crushing depths of despair, yet meriting sweet friendship from the unlikeliest of people. 

Suitable for: All Singaporeans, Jane Austen fans, expats, and those curious about Singapore's colonial history


Rain Tree
Written by: Mahita Vas
Published by: Math Paper Press