Monday 3 January 2022

πŸ“– Book Review ~ Journey to Paradise by Paula Greenlees

Out now in paperback


Paperback Publication Day 30 December 2021

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book


When Miranda steps onto the pier with her husband Gerry at Singapore she hopes that this will be a fresh start; a chance to run from her darkest secret, and heal the scars from her past.

Gerry's new role at the British foreign office affords a certain kind of lifestyle; a beautiful house, servants, and invites the best parties in town. But life in Singapore feels worlds apart from Miranda's beloved home in England. True friends are hard to find in ex-pat society, and with Gerry spending all his time at work or drinking at the club, she loses hope that Singapore would save their marriage. So when Miranda meets kind-hearted Nick Wythenshaw, when volunteering at the local hospital, she begins to realise the depth of her own unhappiness, and dares to hope for more...

Meanwhile, riots are erupting across the region, and Singapore is becoming an increasingly dangerous place to be British. As the danger draws ever closer to home, Miranda must make the toughest decision she has ever had to face - to choose between duty and happiness, and risk ruin.

πŸ“– My Thoughts..

Post war Singapore in 1948 is a place of contrasts especially for the last of the colonials who travel from England to take up positions of authority in local government. Miranda Lewis, and her husband Gerry, are hoping that their move to Singapore will help to chase away some of the sadness in their marriage but rather than bringing them closer it would seem that the move only accentuates their opposing viewpoints.

Nick Wythenshawe is a young doctor who is currently involved in working at a Catholic mission, in Singapore, for orphan children. When he and Miranda first meet they find that they have much in common especially when Miranda decides to help out at the mission. Their compassionate natures draw them to each other but they must choose their way forward very carefully.

Singapore is beautifully recreated and the sights, sounds and rather volatile atmosphere comes alive in the author's skilful recreation of this beautiful place. This is a dangerous time to be English in Singapore, resentments run deep especially in the juxtaposition between the decadent lifestyles of the colonials against the poverty and insecurity of the local people. The author brings this sense of danger into the story and whilst the English party through the night at their clubs and private dinner parties, there is more going on politically and socially than they could ever have imagined.

Journey to Paradise is a lovely story with an authentic historical background and a wonderful sense of time and place which all help to bring this exotic paradise to life in a meaningful and thoughtful way.

Best read with ...a dish of black olives and a Singapore sling..

About the Author

Paula Greenlees has an undergraduate degree in English and European Thought and Literature, and a Masters Degree in Creative Writing. She spent three years living in Singapore surrounded by the history and culture that provided the inspiration for her first novel, Journey to Paradise.

Twitter @PGreenlees #JourneytoParadise

Instagram @paulagreenlees


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