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Sweet Offerings

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  101 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Set in the late 1930s and 1960s, this title tells a tale of Mei Yin, a young Chinese girl from an impoverished family. It is not just a fictional story of the events that ripped one family apart, but a taste of Malaysia's historical political and cultural changes during its transition from colonial rule to independence and beyond.
Paperback, 346 pages
Published September 19th 2009 by Pen Press
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Nov 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book probably lost something in translation as the prose was very "lumpy", but it was an interesting trip through the history of Malaysia from colonialism, through the second World War, independence and up to the late sixties. Written from through the eyes of various female members of an ethnic Chinese family living in Malaysia, it covered the transition from a fairly backward and traditional way of life to the formation of a modern state. The Japanese occupation is skimmed over, as is the ...more
Rebecca Huston
I found this one to be much more interesting than what I had expected. Set against the years that Malaysia was transiting from a British colony to an independent nation, as well as WWII, it tells the stories of the women in a Chinese family in Kuala Lumpur. While some of the characters are very much stereotypical, they do become interesting enough to stand on their own by the end. It seems that the vile natured mother-in-law is typical in Asian set stories, there is a good explanation for Su Hei ...more
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Love it....finished in one day
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Nice to read about my country known as 'Malaysia'.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great read although I was disappointed that she did not follow up on what happened to some of the characters.
Mindy McAdams
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: malaysia, by-women
I found this to be rather mediocre in both story and writing. The characters are not very three-dimensional. The plot is somewhat mechanical. We meet an ethnic Chinese family in Malaya, with parts in Malacca and Kuala Lumpur, before the Japanese occupation. We have a domineering mother-in-law who is never satisfied with the young wife she selected for her only son. The son and husband is a businessman, focused on making money, and he's a womanizer. Children are born. Malaysia gains its independe ...more
Nov 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this book prior to my first visit to Malaysia and found it an ideal primer for the wonderful ethnic diversity I would later experience in Kuala Lumpur and Penang! The author brings to vivid life the Chinese part of the multicultural mosaic (along with the Malay and Indian populations) that has become the modern state of Malaysia. One can almost taste a steaming cup of Teh Tarik as you follow the tale of Mei Yin finding her way from an impoverished background into Malaysia's more rarified ...more
Liz Neale
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book. I really enjoyed reading this and I am looking forward to reading Bitter Sweet
Offerings in the future. The book is set in the 1930's and goes to the 60's. Mei Yin is 14 and
eager to stay in school and study but she is sent to Kuala Lumpur to become the ward and
companion of a the bitter Su Hei who is looking for a wife for her son Ming Kong. The story
tells of the events that rip the family apart.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Mei Yin was a 14 year old girl who was sent away from her family as a potential bride. She had to learn the proper way to behave and how to exist in an upper class family amid all the political and cultural changes that were taking place in Malaysia. She could not do anything or go anywhere without permission. Follow her story as she struggles to keep her sense of self while conforming to the society around her.
Kathy Chung
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love to see the way Mei Yin "grow" as time goes by. in some some parts she was impulsive.

it was kind of hard to feel much for Mei Yin and the rest of the children coz their character where not intense enough.

at times I felt sorry for Nelly as she had been through so much. and the explanation of what her role will be in the future was not satisfying.

I read bitter sweet harvest before I read this book. of the two books, I felt bittee sweet harvest is more intense in sense of emotions.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
the book is not up to my liking.possibly good for those who like the genre of family story. Most of the time, I prefer not to read this type of emotional character(from the husband,wife,kids,mother in law),since it just make myself miserable.
Yoni Elina
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
story about live in malaya before the japanese occupation take place in 1941
. multi ethics lived harmorniously in malaya (which is today called Malaysia)
I like when the part about marriage .
Jun 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Nicely balanced! Historical and cultural notes were slipped in at every turn, but never overwhelmed the fictional plot. An enjoyable way to become better acquainted with Malaysia.
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great story. I love finding good books about the area I'm living in or visiting. This book helped me learn more about life in Malaysia.
Kat Chu
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Apr 26, 2014
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Nov 01, 2011
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Nov 29, 2015
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Angela Morris
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Jan 02, 2018
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Chan Ling Yap (Yap Chan Ling when in Asia) was born in Kuala Lumpur. She was educated in Malaysia and subsequently in England where she obtained a PhD in Economics. She lectured at the University of Malaya before joining the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome where she worked for nearly two decades. She now lives in the UK with her husband and family. For more information vis ...more
More about Chan Ling Yap...