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Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Noble Nyonya by Esther Low


Synopsis from the back of the book

An intriguing, poignant and inspiring tale of a young Thai girl, Meh Nya, who escaped death during the murder of her aristocrat parents, fled from Thailand to Penang in Peninsula Malaya in the early 1900's. She grew up in the stately 'Pelangi' Mansion to emerge as a notable matriarch of a clan.

Find out what happened when a local mafia group, locked her in the mansion and set it ablaze and her agony watching her loved ones and friends raped, tortured and killed. Tear-jerker scenes depict her sharing in her daughter's intense persecution for intermarrying an Indian and the trauma of another daughter who lost her husband and son and tenaciously fought for her life against a killer disease. Nevertheless,share in her blissful escapades and eye- opening Baba Nyonya traditions and practices as she belonged to this exclusive community whose unique and interesting culture flourished in the former British Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang and Malacca.Be awe-struck with her bizare, mind-boggling experiences with the local cultures as well as repulsive hemeopathic practices of the indigenous groups in Thailand, Malaya and ancient China.

The Last part of this compelling story resonates with gripping no-holds barred accounts of unprecedented atrocities of the Japanese soldiers during the Second World War. Find out how she and her entire family escaped decapitation in one of the many suspenseful episodes. Although horrific, in human tortures killed several of her family members, Meh Nya and her family painfully salvaged whatever remained.Advocating for love, peace and forgiveness, the matriarch's family successfully brought about life-changing values that helped to reconstruct many battered,war-torn lives.

Humorous post-war events and unexpected miracles make for a well-rounded and satisfactory read.

My Comments :

This book have potential. The plot and story was good .

However, the language it was written was rather stilled. It made me feel like the author trying to use too many "big word" and educate the readers. For example in page three, line 1 "Kheng and Ah Too ejaculated excitedly with each bite in their baits" and page six ""I'm famished, " he said, rubbing his abdomen." Both words like "ejaculated" and "abdomen" in the sentences makes me feel like back in English class.

However, am please to say the language got better as the pages goes by. It was much smoother and "normal".

I like the way the author added in some photos in the book. It would be great if they have been colored instead of black and white.

As I have said earlier, the story was good. However, the story tend to "jump from one family members to another. It kinda put me off the tale.

some of the things in the story was lack of vividness. For example when they were caught unaware that Japanese had landed. The family would have heard about Japanese advancing since some members are involved in Mining. It was kind of hard for me to believe that they are caught unaware. Moreover, they sure to have relatives from China and they would have heard some news about the condition in China at the time.

Overall, for me this book was "okay". Could have been better.

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