A wonderful new novel from Catherine Lim – a modern love story of east meets west set in the author’s native Singapore.
Never before has Yin Ling appeared in such splendour. Perched in the bridal car with her mother-in-law to be, in layers of unaccustomed make-up, bedecked with the jewels of her fiance’s family, she is about to marry into one of the richest and most influential clans in Singapore. But on the way to the ceremony the car passes through a destitute area of the city and Ling catches sight of a scene of death – a terrible omen for a bride. Instead of looking away, Ling stops the car and goes to look. It is a dead baby, abandoned. Despite her finery Ling picks it up.
So begins Catherine Lim’s new novel. Ling – poor, beautiful, an outstanding student and a poet – is to marry Vincent Chee, a rich PhD student from a very traditional, upper-class family. She will become a dutiful wife, not the existence of her dreams, but the Chees’ money and influence is essential, for her mother has cancer and they cannot abandon a faithful old servant, Ah Heng Cheh.
However, the mapping out of Ling’s future doesn’t proceed smoothly. Almost against her will, and through her poetry, she meets outspoken American professor, Ben Gallagher, who threatens to overturn everything. Ling must make her choice: east or west, head or heart. The birth of a son makes her moral predicament even more agonizing.