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The Undone Years

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  15 reviews
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 M ...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Heliconia Press
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May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
The story revolves around three teenagers living on a rubber plantation in Malaya on the eve of the Second World War.

Beautifully told, we follow their lives as they enjoy what is to be their last summer before the Japanese invade. Each of them takes a very different path after the invasion, and we follow them every step of the way, their hopes, dreams, fears and tragedies.

This was my first experience reading about what life was like under Japanese occupation. It was truly shocking, but as is u
Lucy Schröter Richardson
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Living in Singapore, this is a book I really wanted to read. Although the story is fictional, it gives a very good picture of colonial life and the Second World War in Singapore and the surrounding countries.

I loved how the story unfolded. Enjoying a mainly carefree life on a rubber plantation in Southern Malaya, the three teenagers Matthew, Rajan and Mei Ling are great friends despite their different backgrounds. Suddenly, their peace is destroyed by the arrival of the Japanese army. No matter
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was the first novel I have ever read about the Japanese occupation of Malaya and Singapore and what a great initiation this has been!
The book deals with the intertwined stories of 3 teenager friends, 2 boys and girl, of different races and socio-economic backgrounds, growing up in a rubber tree plantation in Malaya in the 1930s and 1940s. The arrival of the invading Japanese army forces them to separate and take different paths. I should no say much more about the plot to avoid releasing s
Apr 20, 2013 marked it as to-read
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads.
Kathy Chung
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Reviewed at Mama Kucing Books : The Undone Years by Shamini Flint

I have read several books that is based on Japanese occupation of Malaya.

from what I've read, this is a good book for those first timer. the story is worded in simple sentences so that readers can understand what happened during the occupation. i love the part ehere the author slotted in explanation to some incident or methods of doing things gave to give readers better picture on what's happening without disturbing the flow of the
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and its relevant and enrapturing themes of hope, sacrifice, love and betrayal. The topic was original and extremely interesting; the Japanese invasion of Malaya and Singapore was something I feel a little ashamed of knowing little about, but this novel taught me a lot about the individual and collective acts of brutality, heroism, cowardice and wisdom. For me, the depictions of class structure and race relations through the three teenage protagonists was particula ...more
Kathy Petrakis
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I won this book as part of the giveaway competition - I've always liked historical fiction and i was NOT disappointed.

Set in Malaya during the second world war, this story is unique and compelling. It traces the lives of many individuals as the war progresses, but mainly a white British family, an Indian family and a Chinese communist family who originally all live on the same estate but are affected quite differently.

Apart from the good pace and original perspective, I really liked the difficul
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This book follows the lives of three teenage friends who come from very different backgrounds, living on a rubber plantation in Malaya.
Their relatively easy-going lives are shattered when the Japanese army begins to take over Malaya. Each of them ends up going their separate ways. We follow this story of love, hope, honor, betrayal and sacrifice.
I also love how the author starts off each chapter with snippets of the letter that Matthew wrote to Rajan.

This is the first book that I've read of th
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book as a Goodreads winner. This is the tale of three teens from very different backgrounds set at the time of the Japanese occupation of Malaya. As the story unfolds the three main characters and their families lives take different paths and I felt a genuine sense of concern for their individual welfare.
There are some quite horrific details of brutality and cruelty which certainly don't make for easy reading, but this is ultimately a book about heroism and hope and the horrors
Blue Sea
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This novel definitely my cup of tea!
I can see the author had done her research well to write a novel about World War 2.

This book had reveal some of the life of the MPAJA and what they had contribute during World War 2 and how the western people exploited Malaya's people. However with the hope of releasing themselves from one's hand had caused them to trap into another hand. The author brought the story by link the fate of 3 teenagers who lived in Malaya with different races and nationality.
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This novel was very compelling look at British colonial and Japanese occupied malaya. Told from the view of three teens who's different nationality's shaped the way they had to deal with war.
Overall it was a well written and interesting look at the fear and devastation created from war. Definitely worth reading.

What became of Andrew Coleman?
Azura Chan
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-book
Sad ending... I hope the author had more focused on the three main characters instead. Had to skip some pages. What happen to Andrew Coleman?
Ananthini Chandran Segaran
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
this book had an interesting story line and was kind of nostalgic in a manner. i would recommend this to any that who would like some quiet reading.
Megan Graff
May 21, 2013 rated it liked it
A good read. I prefer reading historical fiction to history books. Most if the history in this one I already knew from my time in SE Asia but prior to living in Singapore I knew little of it.
Apr 16, 2013 marked it as to-read
22nd May 2013
Received a free copy today as part of a first reads giveaway I am still reading another giveaway book at the moment but will read and review as soon as possible.
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Shamini Flint lives in Singapore with her husband and two children. She began her career in law in Malaysia and also worked at an international law firm in Singapore. She travelled extensively around Asia for her work, before resigning to be a stay-at-home mum, writer, part-time lecturer and environmental activist, all in an effort to make up for her 'evil' past as a corporate lawyer!

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