If answers exist, they aren't simple
»
»
How often do we focus our attention on the events of World War II in Malaysia? This is a worthy introduction to the subject. The use of fiction allows the bringing together of persons from all aspects of life in that area at the time and after. Malaysia as the war began was a set of mostly British colonial sectors. Amid the Japanese invasion, there were also political movements and rumblings of an independence movement. The Afrikaaner tea planter is a veteran of the Boer War with no reason to approve of British rule except for business reasons. The Japanese gardener appears to have dissociated himself from Japanese imperial aspirations. Yun Ling, the Straits Chinese, who cannot speak Chinese, was educated in British mission schools, and is described satirically by a Malaysian as looking to England as her homeland. These people, living in proximity, furnish important elements in one another's lives over several generations. This is a rich tapestry of all the people and events and ambitions of a particular time and place. In the end, the reader is left with a set of acquaintances worth caring about, and some questions about the world we live in to ponder for a considerable time.