The House of Little Sisters
Eva WongNava (Author)
Description‘An engrossing read … a testimony of Eva Wong Nava’s attention to period details and exquisite storytelling skills’
- Felix Cheong, award-winning author of Sprawl: A Graphic Novel
‘A beautiful, haunting, visceral experience. You'll savour the sights, sounds and smells of pre-WW II Singapore and be mesmerized by a cast of characters as delicately layered and sumptuously rich as a delicious kueh lapis. If this book were a dish, it would deserve five Michelin Stars. Eva Wong-Nava cooks up a special tale that will be savoured by generations to come.’
- Dave Seow, children’s book author of more than 45 books
A SUPERNATURAL EXPOSÉ OF A PAST SYSTEM THAT STILL HAS A TIGHT GRIP ON CONTEMPORARY SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA
It's August of 1931 in Singapore, sixteen-year-old Lim Mei Mei (Ah Mei) arrives at the home of Eminent Mister Lee on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Month. She has been sold to the family as a mui tsai, an indentured servant girl. At the Lee household, Lim Mei Mei's life education begins. There she encounters the spirit of Ah Lian, a mui tsai, who paid the ultimate price for her mistake.
Through Ah Lian, Ah Mei discovers the plight of mui tsai, who are both helpless and powerful, and uncovers a shameful secret lurking in the shadows in the Lee house. Ah Mei also meets and falls in love with Hassan Mohamed, an Indian-Muslim and an aspiring poet, breaking every clause in the rule book of love in 1930s British Malaya. She becomes Hassan's Polar Star, and the young lovers must find a way to stay together.
Through a twist of fate, Ah Mei finds a solution that will keep her and Hassan together, at the same time gaining agency that will secure her own future as an uneducated servant girl in British Malaya.
Penguin Random House SEA
22 February 2022
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