Title : Rainbirds
Author : Clarissa Goenawan
Translator : Lulu Fitri Rahman
Script tuner : Nadira Yasmine
Editor : Barokah Ruziati
Cover designer : Staven Andersen
Number of pages : 400
Publisher : Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Year of publication : 2008
Ren Ishida received word that his older sister, Keiko, was stabbed repeatedly until it was destroyed in Akakawa, the city that had been replaced by her brother. He also decided to temporarily move to the city while arranging a funeral and helping the police solve Keiko’s death. But Ren unknowingly followed the last chosen tracks. He filled Keiko’s job position in the Yotsuba tutoring course. He even accepted the strange requirements to stay in the house of a prominent politician, in the room previously occupied by Keiko. The little girl who constantly appeared in dreams, an aggressive tutoring student, gloomy atmosphere, full of mystery and riddles while walking through Akakawa, made Ren curious to find out what actually appeared the night Keiko was killed.
Ren Ishida’s plan which had only been to live in Akakawa changed. The death of his brother, Keiko Ishida made Ren decided to uncover the mystery of his murder. Accompanied by Honda (Keiko’s colleague during his lifetime), Ren searched for pieces of mystery to find out what really happened behind Keiko’s murder. During her stay in Akakawa, Ren finally asked Keiko to teach at a tutoring institution. Ren also lives in a room in the Katou family’s house that was once occupied by Keiko. During his stay in Akakawa, Ren continued to visit the little girl in his dream. Little pigtail girl Ren made Ren uneasy. He continued to wonder who the little girl was and what was asked of her.
Akakawa City does have its own mystery. The people who live in it keep a lot of secrets. The Katou family who gave free accommodations to Keiko (and later to Ren) turned out to have a dark story. The agreement Keiko had made with the Katou family to get a free place to stay turned out to save injuries. A girl who became Ren’s student was acting strangely, even the girl’s father also turned out to have a secret that was so painful. The hotel owner Ren had also had a very bitter past. Ren’s neighbor also has a mysterious attitude. The woman who hid something from Ren until then gave information that was so important to her. Even Honda, who always accompanied him in Akakawa, also had a story that he had buried himself.
Enigmatic, Rainbirds seems to lead us into a corridor to collect pieces for stories to put together. We will be taken to feel the air and the mysterious city of Akakawa. So many surprising facts from every mystery and secret of the characters presented in this novel. There is sadness, bitterness, and a dark heart. But there is also warmth, affection, and also love that we can feel from the story in this novel. Especially when Ren recalled the beautiful memories with Keiko when he was still a child. Ren was so surprised when there was a secret that was only revealed when Keiko had died. Rainbirds is a Clarissa Goenawan novel that won the “The Bath Novel Award 2015”. After reading this novel, I can’t wait to look forward to her next work. Rainbirds really gives a reading experience that is so memorable and imprinted in the heart.
Rita Nurul Riyani│XII Science 7