The House of Trembling Leaves
‘A compelling novel about the power of female friendship, transcending war, time and separation.’ Rosy Thornton
In 1936 Malaysia, Lu See is ordered to marry a fat, one-eyed banker whom she loathes. Instead, she flees the Juru river for Cambridge and the dream of becoming her country’s first female undergraduate. When the dream dissolves in tragedy only her life-sustaining friendship with the Tibetan maid, Sum Sum, saves her; but then Sum Sum disappears, leaving a gift of unbearable poignancy. Returning to Malaya, Lu See survives the Japanese occupation and Communist insurgency but, as her life approaches its end, knows she must find Sum Sum and become reconciled once more.
ENDORSEMENT BY ROSY THORNTON
‘The conjuring of period and cultural detail are very impressive. The novel conducts a masterful sweep both historical and geographical, from the 1930s to the 1950s, and from pre-war Cambridge through Malaya and Tibet at pivotal moments in those countries’ respective histories. Through it all are woven the compelling stories of two women and a friendship which transcends time and separation, and which survives through war, personal suffering and political division. Their enduring friendship is beautifully depicted – as are their family relationships – and gives the novel a warmth and humour at its core which makes a great counterpoint to the external horrors and hardships of war and hostile occupation.’
CATEGORY: Historical fiction
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