A chapter from The Woman in the U Minh Forest, a novel by Khanh Ha
Rain. Falling on the inn’s red-tiled roof that slants sharply over the veranda. Sluicing over the low-hanging edge of the roof, falling and glittering in a white-water curtain. The veranda, deep and always shadowy even on a sunny day, surrounds the inn and shields the first-floor rooms from the pelting rain. Bundled up in my raincoat, I quick-step onto the veranda and set down the two bags of groceries and household supplies on the cement floor, next to the entrance door.