Facing challenges in an increasingly colonial world, Chye Hoon, a rebellious young girl, must learn to embrace her mixed Malayan-Chinese identity as a Nyonya - and her destiny as a cook, rather than following her first dream of attending school like her brother.
Amidst the smells of chillies and garlic frying, Chye Hoon begins to appreciate the richness of her traditions, eventually marrying Wong Peng Choon, a Chinese man. Together, they have ten children. At last, she can pass on the stories she has heard - magical tales of men from the sea - and her warrior's courage, along with her wonderful kueh (cakes).
But the cultural shift towards the West has begun. Chye Hoon finds herself afraid of losing the heritage she so prizes as her children move more and more into the modernising Western world.
©2016 Selina Siak Chin Yoke. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
At first I thought I wouldn't be able to get into the story because it was read by an English narrator. That soon changed as the narrator brought in the local way of speaking. I was enthralled.
I am an English lady in her seventies . My late husband was Hokkien Chinese originally born in Malaya. Later, the whole family moved to Singapore. We lived in Singapore with family in the sixties and seventies.
It was an absolute delight to read this story and brought back many wonderful memories of my time there. Of course I was familiar with the style of language and the mixture of the Chinese and Malay cultures. This fascinating book and the brilliant narration by Christine Rendel really brought back wonderful memories of our time there.
I can't wait to read another book by Selina Siak Chin Yoke.
I wish you had more of her books. The story is engaging and the narrator is outstanding. I highly recommend it.
"Uniquely-Malaysian and universal values"
The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds in a lovely story and of family, Malaysian culture, and traditions; unique to Malaysian-Chinese/Nonya heritage while also universal for families and individuals of all backgrounds.
Narrator was fair, has a pleasant accent of her own, and did a good job with the reading, *however* this audiobook would have been immensely more immersive and effective with a Malaysian narrator with native accent-- really disappointed on this count throughout the audiobook experience; reading the book (kindle) was much more peaceful and immersive on this count.
I would not change the title of this book.
Looking forward to more books in this series.
"Absolutely beautiful story"
I sincerely enjoyed this book. the narration was perfect. beautiful story for all ages!!! .......
I have no idea what the authentic accents could/would/should sound like. All I know is that the story, facilitated by excellent narration with a beautiful kaleidoscope of accents exotic and wonderful transported me completely into this story, into this world.
I highly recommend it.
"Good, not great"
I really, really, really disliked Chye Hoon's oldest son. She spent so much time bailing him out of trouble, and for what? He was such an unappreciative little chit. I don't often take such a dislike to a character, but he was just awful, and a lot of the story, especially the end, revolves around this mother-son relationship. I couldn't wait to get done in order to rid myself of this ungrateful son.
She did a good job with the voices of the different characters.
Make sure my only son is not a complete brat! Perhaps learn more about Malaysian culture.
I wanted to like this book, and I did at first, but it was slow and tedious at the end. I was glad to be done with it.
"A Delightful Story of a Malayan Woman"
A Malayan Woman trying to keep her culture and tradition alive with everything changing world. So try was wonderfully performed by Christine Rendel.
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