Penang, 1939. Sixteen-year-old Philip Hutton is a loner. Half English, half Chinese and feeling neither, he discovers a sense of belonging in an unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat. Philip shows his new friend around his adored island of Penang, and in return Endo trains him in the art and discipline of aikido.
But such knowledge comes at a terrible price. The enigmatic Endo is bound by disciplines of his own and when the Japanese invade Malaya, threatening to destroy Philip’s family and everything he loves, he realises that his trusted sensei – to whom he owes absolute loyalty – has been harbouring a devastating secret. Philip must risk everything in an attempt to save those he has placed in mortal danger and discover who and what he really is.
With masterful and gorgeous narrative, replete with exotic and captivating images, sounds and aromas – of rain swept beaches, magical mountain temples, pungent spice warehouses, opulent colonial ballrooms and fetid and forbidding rainforests – Tan Twan Eng weaves a haunting and unforgettable story of betrayal, barbaric cruelty, steadfast courage and enduring love.
‘A powerful first novel about a tumultuous and almost forgotten period of history.’
The Times Literary Supplement
‘A remarkable book… about war, friendship, memory and discipline.’
Ian McMillan, The Verb, BBC Radio 3
‘Haunting and highly evocative… a deeply moving tale.’
‘An engrossing read, a hugely enjoyable emotional voyage.’
John McRae, author of The Routledge Guide to Modern Writing
‘By the end of the first chapter I was so totally hooked that everything else had to be put on hold until I’d finished it!’
Sharon Bakar, The Star (Kuala Lumpur)
|Release Date||8th March 2007|
|Release Date||27th May 2008|
|Trade Paperback||448 pages|