Singapore just before the Japanese invasion in the Second World War: the Blackett family's prosperous world of tennis parties, cocktails and deferential servants seems unchanging. But it is poised on the edge of the abyss...This is the eve of the Fall of Singapore and, as we know, of much else besides. Not only the Blacketts, their friends and enemies, but many individuals are caught up in the events.
Singapore at this historical watershed has never been so faithfully and passionately recreated.
Singapore, 1937 - a prosperous, exotic South-East Asian enclave of tennis, tea parties, rubber plantations and colonial comfort. The Blackett family pursue a busy social whirl, unaware that a few short years will bring them to the brink of sudden and awful occupation by the Japanese Imperial Army and life as they know it will disappear overnight. Farrell's novel, a serious enough historical work to include a biography, vividly evokes the extraordinary multi-cultural creation that was prewar Singapore and peoples it with some appealing characters. (Kirkus UK)