The Great Reclamation by Rachel Heng 464 pages

Through the lives of The Great Reclamation’s main characters, we learn of the modern day history of Singapore. Ah Boon lives with his family in a fishing village. His father, uncle, and older brother are fishermen, and although most of the village thinks he should follow in their footsteps, his mother insists he get an education. At school he meets Siok Mei, a brazen girl who lives with her uncle because her parents are Communists fighting for their country’s independence. Growing up, Ah Boon must decide if he will follow Siok Mei, the girl he loves, or work for those in power who claim they are doing what is best for Singapore.

I always enjoy reading a well-written work of fiction where I can also learn something. The Great Reclamation fits the bill. Also, Heng’s characters illustrate that often in life there is no easy, comfortable answer.

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The Great Reclamation by Rachel Heng 464 pages

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