Browsing the shelves of a bookstore at Singapore airport I found Tanamera, a novel by British writer Noel Barber; and I am so glad I did!
This book was so addictive, that I wasn’t literally able to put it down, and I read it on the plane on my way to Sydney and then on my way back from Australia to Kuala Lumpur.
It is a really engaging novel that gives readers a glimpse on colonial life in Singapore and Malaysia from the late 19th century up to the Second World War and the late 1950s through the saga of two rich families; the British Dexters and the Chinese Soongs.
It is the perfect mix of romance; between Johnny Dexter and Julie Soong and their struggle to be together, despite the fierce opposition of their two families; action and history during the Japanese occupation of Malaysia; and deep dive into the Singaporean culture.
It also gives interesting insights on Singapore racial issues at the beginning of the past century, and the unbelievable changes the city went through in the transition from British colony to independent state.
Very fascinating book to before or during your trip to Singapore!