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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Thorn of Lion City by Lucy Lum


Synopsis at http://www.goodreads.com/


Lucy Lum was the third of seven children, born in Singapore in 1933 into a Chinese immigrant family ruled with an iron hand by Popo, her fearsome and superstitious grandmother. Popo is a firm believer in the old ways, in stomach-churning herbalist remedies, in the dubious fortune-telling of mystics, and in mischievous little girls like Lucy knowing their place. She is forever dispensing her own wicked brand of justice, much to the despair of her adopted family.

This is Singapore in the 1940s, a former British colony now living under the specter of the invading Japanese—the hungry worms crawling down from the north, as Lucy knows them—and fear floods the streets. Lucy's father, a kind-hearted and talented linguist, finds himself being used by the occupiers as a translator, and brings back terrifying stories of his merciless employers, which he confides to his daughter under the heavy teak table they use as a make-shift air raid shelter in the bedroom.

With a fresh and powerful voice, The Thorn of Lion City breaks the long silence of the Singaporean Chinese. Heartbreaking and ultimately triumphant, it speaks of the softly-spoken, redemptive love between a father and daughter.

My Comment :

This is a truly an amazing writing. The way she wrote have an easy flow and easy for me to understand. I can imagine the scenes that she described.

I have read this book before but some how it's still good to read it again.

My heart really goes out to her for being an outcast by her shrew of a mother and grandmother. Her poor father suffered silently.

It was very touching to read about she being framed and the tortured by the two elders. Reading that, I wished that this book have been a work of fiction and not at Memoir. At least, those dreadful thing would have happen in the author's imagination only.

This bring up a malay proverb "Berat mata memandang, berat lagi bahu yang memikul". The meaning is that we are sad to see people going through hardship but it's much worse for the one who had to go through the hardship.

This is a good book to read to remind us how lucky we are now.

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