Summary as per www.goodreads.com
On a rubber plantation in Malaya, on the eve of the Second World War, three teenagers enjoy their last summer of freedom and innocence. Matthew is the son of the English planter who runs the estate and his best friend, Rajan, is the son of his father's clerk - but despite their parents' disapproval of their friendship, they feel like equals. When beautiful, strong-willed Mei Ling arrives, both boys' heads are turned. But before any romance can blossom, the Japanese invade.
Against a backdrop of the fall of Singapore, the communist insurgency and the eventual Japanese surrender, The Undone Years is a very human story of love and betrayal in a time of war
My Comments :
Have you ever read a book that is both complicated and yet simple? I think some of you would have encounter this feeling too if you are a passionate reader.
This is one of those complicated and yet simple.
I have read a few books that is based on the Japanese Occupation of Malaya. Hence for me the plot of this book is quite straight forward and simple. The story is pun in such a way that for first timer or those who doesn't know the Malaya history would find it easy to catch up with what's going on during that time.
The complicated part is the part where the author managed to highlight the emotion involved at that time . How each characters have been caught off guard when The Japanese invaded Malaya. Yup, many things that in normal days we swear we won't do but we might collapse and do it when desperate. Things that is done may have been meant to protect or an innocent act may in turn cause great harm to another.
The author really had a flare in manipulation the characters. And I salute her for having the stomach to put in words on how the tortures were meted out to the prisoners.Those with a weak stomach, would be advisable to skip page 313-316.
Overall I love the story very much. It would be nice if the chemistry between Matthew, Rajan and Mei Ling is more intense. As it is, I get the feeling is that they are just good friends. Only at the ending did the feelings became apparent.
Am giving this book 4 stars out of 5 stars.