A Daughter's Promise
Published July 2019
Family,loyalty, war, resistance, memories...
Very much enjoyed this holiday read and found it hard to put down. Five Stars: Goodreads Reviewer
A very thought-provoking novel which is well worth reading. Five Stars: Goodreads Reviewer
Determined to settle old scores from the war years, Sirinya returns to her native Thailand, where once she risked everything to help prisoners of war on the Death Railway. But her journey into the past uncovers unexpected truths...
Thailand 1942: Sirinya and her family are members of the Thai underground, who risk their lives to resist the Japanese occupation and to and help prisoners of war building the Thai-Burma railway.
The events of those years have repercussions for decades to come. The book tells Sirinya's wartime story and how in the 1970s she returns to Kanchanaburi after a long absence abroad, to discover long buried secrets from the war years.
(Previously published as Bamboo Road by Monsoon Books)
Heartbreaking historical fiction: Five Stars
Wow, What can I say, except another very well researched and harrowing portrayal of WW2 in the Far East. Amazon Reviewer
Love and sacrifice in 20th Century Burma: Five Stars
A captivating story of 20th century love and suffering, well worth reading. Amazon Reviewer
A really gripping story well written: Five Stars, Amazon Reviewer
Set in the UK and in Burma during the second world war and the 1988 pro-democracy demonstrations. A daughter's promise to her dying father, uncovers wartime secrets that cast dark shadows over three generations of one family.
In 2015, 90-year old Grace Summers receives some old sketches – the work of her deceased husband, Jack. One sketch is of a beautiful Indian woman in a street in Kuala Lumpur. This brings back bitter-sweet memories of the 1940s, when Grace met and married Jack, whose world had been torn apart by his time as a prisoner of war in Burma.
In 1988, Grace’s daughter, Louise, embarks on a journey to Burma to fulfil a promise she made to Jack on his death-bed. She meets a young Burmese man, Zeya, an activist, and gets caught up in pro-democracy demonstrations, with tragic consequences.
In 2015, Louise and her daughter Eve, retrace Louise’s steps to Myanmar, to research Jack’s wartime experiences and to search for the girl in his sketch. But they are unprepared for the long-buried secrets their journey will unearth...
A powerful story brilliantly told. Five Stars. Richard Kandler, author of The Prisoner List.
'This outstanding novel is a powerful reminder of what prisoners of the Japanese suffered during WW2 - but it is also a great deal more than that.'
Thailand, 1943: Thomas Ellis, captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore, is a prisoner-of-war on the Death Railway. In stifling heat he endures endless days of clearing jungle, breaking stone and lugging wood. He must stay alive, although he is struck down by disease and tortured by Japanese guards, and he must stay strong, although he is starving and exhausted. For Tom has made himself a promise: to return home. Not to the grey streets of London, where he once lived, but to Penang, where he found paradise and love.
London, 1986: Laura Ellis, a successful City lawyer, turns her back on her yuppie existence and travels to Southeast Asia. In Thailand and Malaysia she retraces her father’s past and discovers the truths he has refused to tell her. And in the place where her father once suffered and survived, she will finally find out how he got his Bamboo Heart.
This is a story of a soldier’s strength and survival in the bleakest of times and a daughter’s journey of discovery about her father and herself.
(Previously published as Bamboo Heart, Winner of Fiction Published in Asia, Asian Books Blog 2015)
'A vivid account of a brutal period, and a searing exploration of trauma, memory and loss..' The Lady Magazine.
From award-winning author Ann Bennett comes a haunting and powerful novel of love and loss during World War 2 Malaya.
1938: Juliet and her sister Rose arrive in Penang to stay with an aunt, after the death of their father. Juliet quickly falls under the spell of Gavin Crosby, a plantation owner, who despite his wealth, charm and good looks is shunned by the local community. Rushed into marriage, Juliet is unprepared for the devastating secrets she uncovers on Gavin’s plantation, and the bad blood between Gavin and his brother…
But in 1941 the Japanese occupy Malaya and Singapore sweeping away that world and changing Juliet’s life forever.
For decades after the war which robbed her of everyone she loved, Juliet lives as a recluse back on the plantation. But in 1962 the sudden appearance of Mary, a young woman from an orphanage in Indonesia, forces Juliet to embark on a journey into the past, and to face up to the heart-breaking truths she’s buried for so long.
The Planter's Wife was previously published as Bamboo Island.
Praise for The Planter's Wife..
‘This was a story of love, passion and cruelty I could not put down … I needed to discover Juliet's secrets.’ Lizeanne Lloyd - Lost in a Good Book.
‘I raced through this book in just over twenty-four hours … I literally could not put it down. I connected and sympathised with Juliet as a character so much… and I was constantly on edge whilst reading it, desperate to find out more about her past.’ Bibliobeth – Goodreads.
‘I really loved this haunting, powerful and beautiful novel.’ Amazon
Praise for A Daughter's Quest (formerly Bamboo Heart):
'Great characters, excellent pace, outstanding delivery. Highly recommended.' Chhimi Tenduf-La, bestselling author of The Amazing Racist and Panther.
'The narrative flits effortlessly between continents and time periods, cleverly intertwining the experiences of the two main characters on their respective journeys as they unfold - simultaneously and yet fifty years apart....Even the darkest pages of Bamboo Heart are ultimately part of a wider, more nuanced "human interest" story - brilliantly constructed and intensely moving, as the book progresses through some adeptly executed plot twists to reach a deeply satisfying conclusion.' Richard Kandler, author of The Prisoner List, a compelling true story of defeat, captivity and salvation in the Far East .