This is Chan Ling’s fifth novel. The story is set during the Emergency in Malaya, sometimes called the Forgotten War. Like her other novels, it provides insight to the turbulent history of the country, and especially the Chinese in Malaysia.
When young and naive Ruth set out to look for her husband Mark in Malaya in 1950, little did she expect to find herself in a country split by warring factions and ideology and a rival for her husband’s love that is as lovely and exotic as May. A story of human resilience, lies, treachery and love set during the Emergency in Malaya.
Customer reviews (amazon.co.uk):
I think I would term this book as more of a romance, which is not what I would usually go for, but I found it very gripping like an adventure and it provided twists right to the end. I particularly enjoyed the historical nature throughout, which taught me a lot, and could only be written by someone with intimate knowledge of the area, history and the era.
– Roger Francis 24 April 2018
A really good read. A fast-moving novel set against the backdrop of the last years of British rule in Malaysia. The story of a young English women, Ruth, and her tangled loves and tragedies, is intricately woven into the development of her close friendship with a Chinese girl, May. Full of intrigue and beautifully written in Chan Ling’s lyrical, flowing style, this is a real page-turner keeping you in suspense until the very last paragraphs.
– A M Wall 19 February 2018
Like her previous books a very enjoyable read, particularly interesting as I had no knowledge of the Malaysian history at that time which is important to much of the action of the story. The characters are interesting and believable.
– Roger Mills 23 May 2018