Any fan of Nora Roberts, Maeve Binchy Danielle Steele and Jilly Cooper will love The White Amah - a powerful and intriguing family saga.
Ann Massey weaves a spellbinding story of a young woman brought up in the rain-drenched jungle of Borneo who, to escape a forced marriage, embarks on a search for her roots. The only link with her past is a beautiful hand carved necklace. Her voyage of discovery takes her to England and a women's prison called Holloway. It is here she finds her mother and discovers the cruel and startling truth about her family and her heritage.
Review: Shoma Mittra - A Rich Reading Experience
The White Amah by Ann Massey weaves a tale around three women connected by a single mistake. Like a haunting melody that peaks and troughs, this book has some stunning writing without being trite. It will take you traipsing through the night life of Singapore, launch you into the deep rain forests of Borneo and scoop you up and put you down in the streets of London.
Tuff is a chartbusting pop singer with a dubious past. She has created a carefully contrived image around her persona and the public are ga-ga over her every move. But when confronted with some unpalatable truths from her past, Tuff loses her cool and makes one wrong move which will prove to be very costly for her.
Seventeen years earlier, a young Australian called Crystal Brooke finds herself abandoned in the big bad world in Singapore. Her dreams of becoming a pop star come crashing down when she finds that she is pregnant. There is no question about returning back to her family in Australia. Crystal knows that her father would never accept her. Frightened and alone, there is only one option – Crystal puts her baby up for adoption.
The infant is adopted by an expat family in Malaysia. The couple engage an amah (nanny) to look after the baby, Mei-Li. Rubiah, the amah is herself a young girl and although she loves and cares for the baby, her sights are set on a good life. ‘Good life’ comes in the form of nightly visits from her employer who piles her with gifts and baubles –until the wife finds out. Then all hell breaks loose and the expat dumps Rubiah and flees the country with his wife. Rubiah is left holding a baby she doesn’t want.
She realises that she is only a young girl herself and her dreams of a slick city life with all the riches will remain a distant dream if she has an infant in tow. So Rubiah takes the baby to her native village in a remote rain forest jungle in Borneo where she leaves Mei Li under the care of her parents and returns to the city to make a life for herself.
In the deep forests, Mei Li is brought up as a traditional Dayak tribal woman. She has no ambition except to lead a good peaceful life in the jungle she loves. But fate has other things in store for her and no one is more surprised than Mei Li at the turn of events which catapults her into an environment she has never dreamed of. She becomes the white amah.
Ann Massey’s book The White Amah plays on many different levels. It is like peeling off the petals from an exotic tightly curled bloom – the more you peel, the tighter are the curls beneath- enticing you to lift yet another layer. Beautiful prose, accompanied by a plot with surprising twists and turns, this book keeps you hooked to the very end. The White Amah shows how much Massey’s work has matured as a writer after the The Biocide Conspiracy which was her first novel.
The White Amah is a treat to read and I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a rich reading experience.
Purchase from http://www.amazon.com/White-Amah-Ann-Massey/dp/1456578065/ref=cm_cr-mr-title