Singapore, 1920s: At the imposing gates of a grand mansion, a young bride from China comes to join a wealthy Teochew family ruled by a stern and forbidding matriarch. One is scholarly and gentle, the other is strong-willed and domineering.
Coming unexpectedly into the breach is a woman fleeing the cruelty of her own mother-in-law in China. The scenario she witnesses as the family’s baby amah – ni boh – uses to a resolve to mediate between the two, to protect and serve for the sake of what is good and precious.
It is this quiet devotion which young Chor Jee, granddaughter of the house, relates as, over sixty years, Ni Boh stays with the family; through the good times of the thirties, the coming of war and the terror of the Japanese Occupation, the liberation of Singapore and the swift changes of modernisation.
Through it all, Ni Boh endures, like a gently flowing river, bearing without complaint the joys, sorrows and challenges, the accumulated memories of five eventful generations.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 216
Year Published: 1997