If you ever wanted to know what life was like during 19th century Singapore, this Straits Quartet series gives a vivid picture of the social mores and cultural practices of the English colonialists, Chinese coolies, the Malays, Indians, etc, in the form of an impossible love story between a half-breed Scotswoman and a Chinese coolie. A tumultous love story that didn't end in a final reunion until several children and marriages to others later. I bought the last book, The English Concubine, then discovered it was a series of four books, and downloaded the first 3 books immediately. Read them all in a week, couldn't put them down. Being a third generation Chinese, it has helped me understand what it was like being a sinkeh (a newcomer to SEA Asia), the country as it was then, and how all the races intermingled with each other. I hope to see more books like this from the author in the future.