Lead Review (The Storm We Made)
- Book: The Storm We Made
- Location: Malaysia (Malaya)
- Author: Vanessa Chan
Cecily is a Eurasian, married to Gordon, she has three children and actively wants to be more than just Gordon’s wife and the children’s mother. This is a novel that is set against the backdrop of waning British colonialism and the gathering hope that the Japanese, who have occupied the country, will reinstate traditional Asian values.
A few years ago Cecily happened to meet General Fujiwara and she shares any information she can glean from Gordon’s work and any overheard gossip. She is – at base – a spy for the overlords and going forward her fear of discovery is palpable.
However, as the Japanese entrench and WW2 gets into full swing, the hopes for the more golden future diminish. Life under Japanese occupation is harsh, and fears for the younger generation grow as young men disappear and young girls are misused. Humiliation and suffering are commonplace and the author does a really good job of setting the family within the context of this period of history.
I struggled at times to really come alongside the characters, the storyline relied on descriptive narrative rather than psychological acumen. I felt it needed more depth in order to make this a really outstanding historical novel but that notwithstanding, if you are new to this period of history, then this will be a good introduction to the harsh vagaries of life under Japanese occupation.