This novel was a nice surprise. I haven’t read a lot of books set in this locale but, the fact that the book was written about a family that lived in Malaya during the beginning of the second world war caught my attention.
The story centers around a young family, the Hadleys, who own a rubber plantation in Malaya. They are fortunate as the plantation was in the family and Nigel Hadley just took over when it was his turn to run the plantation. He is a hard worker with not much time for his wife and son, Teddy. Connie Hadley is thought to be a very lucky wife and mother as her time is her own and she spends her days having lunch with the ladies and taking care of her home and family although, she has servants who do most of that.
In December of 1941, the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and just about destroy the American Fleet. The town in Malaya where the Hadley’s live is also attacked and the Hadleys leave, on their yacht, to go to Singapore where, they think, the British will be able to chase the Japanese away. Sadly, when they get there Singapore is under the control of the Japanese. Food is in demand and the Hadleys make their way from island to island to look for shelter from the invaders.
This is a good story with interesting characters who have really never had to struggle to stay alive and now they do. It is a story that shows what people are capable of and how they solve their problems. I am a big fan of World War II fiction and that is really why I read this book. I can truly recommend it to all who like that particular genre and also enjoy books set in that era in the Pacific.
National bestselling author of The Russian Concubine, Kate Furnivall spins a tale of war, desperation, and the discovery of love off the coast of Malaya.
Malaya, 1941. Connie Thornton plays her role as a dutiful wife and mother without complaint. She is among the fortunate after all-the British rubber plantation owners reaping the benefits of the colonial life. But Connie feels as though she is oppressed, crippled by boredom, sweltering heat, a loveless marriage. . .
Then, in December, the Japanese invade. Connie and her family flee, sailing south on their yacht toward Singapore, where the British are certain to stand firm against the Japanese. En route, in the company of friends, they learn that Singapore is already under siege. Tensions mount, tempers flare, and the yacht's inhabitants are driven by fear.
Increasingly desperate and short of food, they are taken over by a pirate craft and its Malayan crew making their perilous way from island to island. When a fighter plane crashes into the sea, they rescue its Japanese pilot. For Connie, that's when everything changes. In the suffocating confines of the boat with her life upended, Connie discovers a new kind of freedom and a new, dangerous, exhilarating love.