Saturday 2 September 2017

When the future comes too soon - Selina Siak Chin Yoke

In Japanese-occupied Malaya, lives are shattered and a woman discovers her inner strength in a world ravaged by war.

Following the death of their matriarch, the lives of Chye Hoon’s family are turned upside down. Now that the British have fled and the Japanese have conquered, their once-benign world changes overnight.

Amid the turmoil, Chye Hoon’s daughter-in-law, Mei Foong, must fend for her family as her husband, Weng Yu, becomes increasingly embittered. Challenged in ways she never could have imagined and forced into hiding, Mei Foong finds a deep reservoir of resilience she did not know she had and soon draws the attentions of another man.

Is Mei Foong’s resolve enough to save herself, her marriage, and her family? Only when peace returns to Malaya will she learn the full price she must pay for survival. 

My thoughts:
Now when I think about it I can not say if I have ever read a book set in Malaysia. So a first for everything then. And of course it was an interesting time period too, well interesting is not the right word for the turmoil and pain it caused.

Mei is happily married. She has 4 children and life is good. Until the Japanese come closer, until all the British just leave over night. The occupation has begun. At first they will hide as bombs fall and then they return to a occupied city.

The book was actually kind of nice. Yes it they did talk about this horrific massacre, but other than that not much was shown. Bullying tactics and bending the knee to their new masters yes, but other than that. Have I read too many war books that I thought more horror? So at the moment I do not know if the author wanted to spare her characters or if the Japanese was kinder in that town. Since I do have a friend in Singapore and she still hates the Japanese...

Anyway I am glad the characters were spared and did not go through too much. Instead now they did their best to go on with their lives. To find food and to serve their new lords the best they could.

But there are other conflicts too. Conflicts within the family. Anger, resentment and all things that grow when things get hard.

An interesting book. I saw that she has written a book that was about Mei's mother in law, and that one would be interesting to read too. So much changed during these years and it is something different to read about for sure.

Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 18th 2017 by AmazonCrossing
Malayan #2
Historical fiction
For review

Of Malaysian-Chinese heritage, Selina Siak Chin Yoke grew up listening to family stories and ancient legends, always knowing that one day she would write. After an eclectic life as a physicist, banker and trader in London, Selina was diagnosed with cancer, the second major illness she had to battle. While recovering, she decided not to delay her dream of writing any longer. Her first novel, The Woman who Breathed Two Worlds, was published in November 2016 and debuted as an Amazon best-seller in historical fiction and was compared to the work of Pearl S. Buck and Amy Tan. When the Future Comes Too Soon is Selina’s second novel. 


  1. I want to read this SOOOOOO bad.

    1. It made me think of the strangest thing, like how strange it was how they were all goodday maternal grandmother. Good day paternal uncle, until I realised that it just sounds silly in English, but in Swedish we say it like that too ;)

  2. the setting is very interesting. I would be curious to try

  3. Very interesting. I've read plenty of books set in Japanese-occupied Asia during this period, but never one that takes place in Malaysia. I'm definitely intrigued.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. I know I have read something...but what and where, hmmm

  4. This does sound like an interesting read, I like the war angle but also the conflict within the family.

  5. This sounds like a good one plus the setting and time period sound interesting too.

  6. This sounds really interesting! I don't think that I have read a book set in Malaysia either.

  7. Very interesting. I know nothing of the Malaysian culture or history. Thanks for sharing.



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