1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
An interesting childhood memoir, 27 Sept. 2013
Having longstanding family connections with Malaya and Singapore I was keen to read this memoir -- particularly since the author, a historian, has written a staggeringly good history of the British in Malaya (Mad Dogs and Englishmen). While I enjoyed this book for its portrayal of Malayan life in those halcyon years before the Second World War, it didn't entirely work for me. Written 'through the eyes of a child', the occasionally twee tone grates, and contrasts uncomfortably when the author sets her personal story in historical context with extracts from newspapers of the day, Christmas royal broadcasts and so on. That aside, there is a wealth of detail -- social history, manners, attitudes, vivid descriptions of every day life and customs of a vibrant, multi-racial society -- and it is an often interesting read.