Singapore, on the cusp of Independence. In the midst of fear and uncertainty, a young woman is forced to choose between an education and single motherhood. Ani’s dreams of becoming a teacher are shattered when she is forcibly married. Employed as a servant at Rain Tree, a colonial home, she indulges in English novels in her spare time. Widowed soon after, Ani befriends her Chinese colleagues, who try and protect her from her bigoted mistress. She learns that her husband has left her a horrifying debt, yet she must keep it a secret to protect her job and dignity. Falling in love with a house guest brings temporary respite, until she bears his child after he returns to England. To keep her baby, Ani must leave the security of Rain Tree. With chronic unemployment, a housing shortage and impending Independence, Ani realises that without an education, her life will be unbearable. With an illegitimate baby, life will be impossible. To change her destiny, sacrifices must be made. But at what price? RAIN TREE weaves a story of loyalty and hope with lessons on love unlike what Ani has learnt from English novels.
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