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The House of Little Sisters

Eva Wong Nava
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It’s August of 1931 in Singapore, sixteen-year-old Lim Mei Mei (Ah Mei) arrives at the home of Eminent Mister Lee on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Month. She has been sold to the family as a mui tsai, an indentured servant girl. At the Lee household, Lim Mei Mei’s life education begins. There she encounters the spirit of Ah Lian, a mui tsai, who paid the ultimate price for her mistake. Through Ah Lian, Ah Mei discovers the plight of mui tsai, who are both helpless and powerful, and uncovers a shameful secret lurking in the shadows in the Lee house. Ah Mei also meets and falls in love with Hassan Mohamed, an Indian-Muslim and an aspiring poet, breaking every clause in the rule book of love in 1930s British Malaya. She becomes Hassan’s Polar Star, and the young lovers must find a way to stay together. Through a twist of fate, Ah Mei finds a solution that will keep her and Hassan together, at the same time gaining agency that will secure her own future as an uneducated servant girl in British Malaya.

Published: Feb/2022

ISBN: 9789814882279

Length: 240 Pages

The House of Little Sisters

Eva Wong Nava

It’s August of 1931 in Singapore, sixteen-year-old Lim Mei Mei (Ah Mei) arrives at the home of Eminent Mister Lee on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Month. She has been sold to the family as a mui tsai, an indentured servant girl. At the Lee household, Lim Mei Mei’s life education begins. There she encounters the spirit of Ah Lian, a mui tsai, who paid the ultimate price for her mistake. Through Ah Lian, Ah Mei discovers the plight of mui tsai, who are both helpless and powerful, and uncovers a shameful secret lurking in the shadows in the Lee house. Ah Mei also meets and falls in love with Hassan Mohamed, an Indian-Muslim and an aspiring poet, breaking every clause in the rule book of love in 1930s British Malaya. She becomes Hassan’s Polar Star, and the young lovers must find a way to stay together. Through a twist of fate, Ah Mei finds a solution that will keep her and Hassan together, at the same time gaining agency that will secure her own future as an uneducated servant girl in British Malaya.

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Eva Wong Nava

Eva Wong Nava was born on a tropical island where a merlion spurts water. Her ancestors braved monsoon winds sailing from the Middle Kingdom to British Malaya to plant roots in Southeast Asia. When the winds changed, her relatives sailed again and found another home somewhere in the western hemisphere, braving snow storms and hail. Eva has done many things in life, like banking and teaching, but writing remains her most favourite thing to do. She combines degrees in literature and art history and writes stories that explore identity, culture, and belonging by adding a dash of magic. Eva has written an award-winning middle-grade book (Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, 2018) and several best-selling picture books. She lives in the Land of Albion with her family, two scampering squirrels, and a regal fox.

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