Returning from a visit to a sick friend with polio, Lydia arrives home to an empty house. There is no sign of her husband, her daughters or the servants. The telephone line is dead. Lydia embarks on a dangerous journey across civil war-torn Malaya to find her family.
In England, Emma, Lydia's eldest daughter, is struggling to cope but determined to keep the memory of her beloved mother alive and refusing to believe Lydia would ever have abandoned them. She embarks on a quest for answers.
This is a powerful story of love and loss. There are some wonderfully vivid and atmospheric descriptions of Malaya. You can smell the tropics, feel the heat, and hear the birds and the bullfrogs.
The book is captivating and powerful and is the story of a mother's undying love for her children and the bonds that can never be broken.
The book is a little slow at first and takes some getting into. However, once you do get into it, it is a page-turner and a wonderful debut novel.
This would be a good book for a book group as there are lots of areas for discussion.
I will certainly look out for more books by this author in the future and am pleased I was able to review it.