Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Bitter-Sweet Harvest by Chan Ling Yap

What would you do if you had to share your husband with someone else within months of your marriage?  Well, this is one of the dilemmas presented in Bitter-Sweet Harvest, the sequel to Sweet Offerings (2009). 

Bitter-Sweet Harvest is just as entertaining as the debut, if not more so.  It is the continuation of a family saga set in Malaysia in the 1930s and 1960s.  This is a superbly told love story that will tug at your heartstrings and the dilemma easily identifiable in today's society and among families just as much as it was an emerging issue fifty odd years ago.  I reckon Chan Ling Yap is a born story-teller simply because she draws the reader into the plot page after page without any let-up.  There is no shortage of intrigue and drama.  It is definitely a well-thought-out and well-written story and I now look forward to the denouement of this Southeast Asian trilogy - hopefully there isn't long to wait.

From the blurb:  Set in a Malaysia emerging from the outbreak of racial conflict in 1969, Bitter-Sweet Harvest (2011) tells of the difficulties and tensions involved in a marriage between a Malay Muslim and a Chinese Christian.

About the author:  Born in Kuala Lumpur, Chan Ling Yap was educated in Malaysia and subsequently in England where she obtained a PhD in Economics.  She lectured at the University of Malaya before joining the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, where she worked for nearly two decades.  She now lives in the UK with her husband and two grown-up children.

A widely published author of various textbooks and technical papers, her foray into fiction was highly praised for its beautiful evocation of Asia.

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Rating:  4/5

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