An evocative, multi-generational tale of a family haunted by the death of a young concubine. For fans of Dinah Jefferies and Amy Tan.
In 1930s Malaya a sixteen-year-old girl, dreaming of marriage to her sweetheart, is sold as a concubine to a rich old man desperate for an heir. Trapped, and bullied by his spiteful wife, Yu Lan plans to escape with her baby son, despite knowing that they will pursue her to the ends of the earth.
Four generations later, her great-grandson, Nick, will return to Malaysia, looking for the truth behind the facade of a house cursed by the unhappy past. Nothing can prepare him for what he will find.
This exquisitely rich novel brings to life a vanished world – a world of abandoned ghost houses, inquisitive monkeys, smoky temples and a panoply of gods and demons. A world where a poor girl can be sold to fulfil a rich man's dream. But though he can buy her body, he can never capture her soul, nor quench her spirit.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:
'Compelling, atmospheric and emotional'
'Well-written, compelling... A tale of duty, treachery, misery and superstition'
'Wonderfully drawn characters, searing emotion, powerful intensity and nail-biting drama'.