When Lydia Cartwright returns to the family home in Malaya after a brief absence, she is startled when her arrival is met, not with an exuberant welcome from her daughters, Emma and Fleur, but by an ominous silence which permeates throughout the dusty remnants of the house on stilts. What then follows is the story of a painful separation, the consequences of which lead Lydia into the very heart of the Malayan jungle and into a desperate search for her beloved daughters. The story uses the exotic background of Malaya in the 1950s when the country was at war with itself and when every step into the unknown was fraught with danger
From the beginning of this fascinating story I was taken on a journey of discovery and heartbreak and as Lydia delves deeper into the mystery of her daughters disappearance she uncovers a story which is alive with intrigue. Emma and Fleur’s story runs alongside, and is no less compelling for all that it takes a very different turn, but what really binds the two stories together is the unshakeable bond between a mother and her daughters.
There is no doubt that the author has a real skill for storytelling and by using her own experiences of living in Malaya, is able to paint a vivid picture of what it was like to live through this time of great unrest. Throughout the whole of the story the writing is confident and assured. The narrative flows well and very quickly draws a realistic portrayal of motherhood, which continually shows Lydia’s vulnerability alongside her utter strength of will.
I loved every bit of the novel, from the exotic background of the Malayan jungle, to the dismal background of rain swept England; there is never a lull when the story doesn't pull you into a captivating story of love and loss.
My thanks to the author and Penguin Books for my copy of this book
I have a fabulous guest post by Dinah Jefferies on Monday 25th August
with the chance to win a copy