Suchen Christine Lim: Gift from the Gods

(673 words)
  • Amy Lai (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 10.4.2: Hong Kong, Singaporean, Malaysian and Myanmar Writing and Culture.

Written in the first person and structured as a series of journals, this novel recounts the stories of three Singapore women of different generations. They are Tai Ku, her adopted daughter Yoke-lin, and Yoke-lin's daughter Yenti, the one who unveils to us the stories of the former two.

Sold to a brothel-keeper as a sixteen-year-old during the great famine in the Malayan Peninsula, Tai Ku is first bought by a tin-miner, later married to a butcher, and then becomes the matriarch of the household. Yoke-lin, whose mother was killed by her trishaw-driver husband after giving birth to their sixth daughter, hopes to regain her security through a proper marriage. Unfortunately, she is first married to Ah Chong, who does not love or …

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Lai, Amy. "Gift from the Gods". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 June 2003
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]