A tale set in World War II Singapore, this book offers insights into how rich influential families who benefited from British rule underwent the Japanese occupation. With intrigue, romance and suspense, Boyd Anderson tells the story of the main protagonist's indomitable spirit against the widespread suffering of the Japanese Occupation.
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I recently read this book about Singapore in its waning years of British rule and the years of Japanese occupation. Amber Road looks not from a common man on the street perspective, but from the perspective of an upper echleon wealthy Straits Chinese family. I felt that this was a refreshing change as wealthy upper classes in Singapore are often resented and kept away from, and hence theres very little of their own viewpoints of their daily lives being published in local literature.
The book focuses on the downward plunge from wealth and splendour to destitution of a wealthy Straits Chinese girl, Victoria. Contrary to popular perception and expectations of spoilt and pampered 'princesses' of colonial era Singapore, she developed a lot of backbone and maturity in her quest for survival as the story unravels before finding her happily ever after.
I felt that this book is relevant and pertinant to Singapore's History. Firstly, it is well researched and gives us a pretty good insight to life during the Japanese Occupation. Secondly, key landmarks and their histories such as the Raffles Hotel were well elaborated on. Unwittingly, you find yourself actually developing a connection to the place through reading the book! Lastly, the book elaborates well on Nonya cultures and values (especially when Victoria is undergoing her wedding rites and during the Chinese New Year Season).
I never regretted picking up this book, really a great read!