Published: October 1st 2014 by Brilliance Audio
This has been on my to be read reading shelf forever, I mean a couple of years. Have you read the book?
The cover is gorgeous and intriguing, but I would have most likely picked it up anyway because the plot is set in Singapore.
The book, particular the audio book I was listening to was excellent because of the speakers McFadden’s voice and all the different roles she was able to bring in live and perfect pronunciations to local places and people.
However, the story itself was fine, it has some historical fiction elements and as I know the Singapore’s map and locations pretty well it become handy, otherwise I would suggest someone keep the map open to full get the sense of the city.
The story tells about a 17-year-old girl named Agnes or Aggie as everyone is calling her. She is representing a multicultural background as majority of nationals in the country. She is an orphan living together with her aunt and uncle who loves her dearly and would go an extra mile to save and provide her all the best they can. And who isn’t when it comes to family – any time in a lifetime? Her uncle has served British army and there are some pinch of royal Sultan’s blood in her. The time set in the book is some 1920’s and they are at the very edge of poverty, struggle to survive and have proper school uniform. Agnes is going in one of the best High School’s in Singapore. But the house they live is Kampong Glam, a historical building that is slowly but visibly the building is breaking down, new roof leaks here and there isn’t nothing new, few rooms aren’t usable anymore.
Agnes is longing is engaging in relationship very fast without fully wanting but the next minute she is over heel about the temperamental British guy who keeps on insisting he is there for her and he does seem fishy. She gets her first job as journalist in the local newspaper, thanks to her uncle’s reference and she does remarkably well, turning the society and the ratio of newspaper readers. She is devoted to her family, torn between them and her boyfriend. She gets proposed but not everything seems to be as easy as that…
The main stress on this book, in my opinion, is about historic elements, powerful and strong woman, who is not forced down, but is ready to stand on her feet. She is naive at the first but her character grows when the book is about to end. It was an okay read, but didn’t attract me with very interesting side characters and the plot climaxes/ suspense.