- About the Author
Recommended by The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Waterstones, Today, People, Elle, Vanity Fair, NPR, Oprah Daily, Debutiful, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Women’s World, Woman & Home, Town & Country, Readers Digest, Esquire and more…
Destined to become a modern-day classic, The Storm We Made is a dazzling saga about the horrors of war and the power of familial love, for fans of Pachinko, All the Light We Cannot See and Wandering Souls.
A sweeping epic about an unlikely spy, a secret love affair, and the uncontrollable forces that will test even the most unbreakable ties. Set in Malaya (now Malaysia) during World War II, this spellbinding “most anticipated” (Oprah Daily) novel chronicles a mother and her children as they grapple with the consequences of colonial power and the shocking repercussions that follow for their family and their country.
Her decision changed history.
Now her children must survive it.
British Malaya, 1930s
Discontented housewife Cecily is seduced by Japanese general Fujiwara and the glorious future he is promising for ‘independent’ Malaya, free from British colonialism. As she becomes further embedded as his own personal spy, she unwittingly alters the fate of her country by welcoming in a punishing form of dictatorship under the Japanese in WWII.
Japanese-occupied Malaya, 1945
Cecily and her family are barely surviving. Her children, Jujube, Abel and Jasmin, are surrounded by threat, and look to their mother to keep them safe. But she can’t tell them about the part she played in the war – and she doesn’t know how to protect them any longer, with the new regime in place.
Can Cecily face up to her past to save her children? Or is it already too late…?
“In Vanessa Chan’s spellbinding debut, one woman’s desire to change her destiny shapes the future of a colonized nation. Combining cinematic grandeur with nuanced storytelling, The Storm We Made offers the hidden history that only fiction can reveal: the everyday yearnings of people surviving a brutal occupation, children trying to make sense of the unspeakable, and the search for love. I’ll never forget this book.”
—Jessamine Chan, New York Times best-selling author of The School for Good Mothers
“The Storm We Made is about an extensively studied war, but from a front that is rarely considered. There are so many rich layers to this book—my breath caught at the beauty of the words and the kaleidoscope of images they painted. Vanessa Chan has written a masterpiece, and The Storm We Made has not only changed my perspective on war and humanity; it has also transformed my sense of what truly great novels can do.”
—Qian Julie Wang, author of New York Times bestseller, Beautiful Country
“The Storm We Made is brave, funny, and immensely moving. One of the most powerful and confident debuts I’ve ever read. A storytelling star is born.”
—Tracy Chevalier, author of New York Times bestseller, and global sensation, Girl with a Pearl Earring and ten other books
“Exceptionally brave. Heart-breaking, beautiful, and moving. Destined to be a classic. The Storm We Made is a celebration of stories that have been silenced or erased. Vanessa Chan writes with admirable power, confidence and grace. By confronting the horror of colonization and war, this book opens the pathway to peace and healing. A significant contribution to the world's literature.”
—Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, author of international bestseller, The Mountains Sing and Dust Child
“Vanessa Chan's The Storm We Made is a phenomenon unto itself. This is no mere debut, but rather the summoning of a story buried so deeply in a nation that it could only surface with a talent great enough to do it justice.”
—Mira Jacob, author of national bestsellers, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing and Good Talk
“Devastatingly beautiful and extraordinary . . . Vanessa shines an evocative light on this piece of history. I'm going to be thinking about this one for a very long time.”
—Jessica George, author of New York Times bestseller Maame
“Like the most dazzling historical fiction, The Storm We Made etches intimate details on an epic canvas. Vanessa Chan’s characters face agonizing choices under the darkness of colonization and war, and yet she imbues them with an indelible spirit of resistance that never lets you forget the light. A fearless, gripping, morally complex story by a writer to watch.”
—Dawnie Walton, author of national bestseller, The Final Revival of Opal and Nev
“Chan has written a horrific, gripping, exquisitely plotted novel. I could not put it down!”
—Alice Winn, author of international bestseller and Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize winner, In Memoriam
“Nuanced and meticulously researched, The Storm We Made shines a vivid light on a little-known part of history. A striking, moving exploration of good and evil and the devastating repercussions one's actions can have, it is a novel that will stay with you.”
—Cecile Pin, author of Women’s Prize longlisted Wandering Souls
“Magnificent. A beautiful, scintillating, devastating and deeply moving marvel of storytelling. I implore you to read it.”
—Chris Whitaker, author of New York Times bestseller, We Begin at the End
“With assured prose, impeccable story-telling, and vibrant characters, The Storm We Made heralds an exceptional, exciting new voice. Vanessa Chan’s textured, visceral writing brings 1930s-1940s Malaya to life during the British and Japanese occupations, as the waves of small actions ripple out with unexpected and often tragic consequences. Bravo to this immense talent!”
—Melissa Fu, author of Radio 2 book club pick, Peach Blossom Spring
“The Storm We Made is an excellent examination of the way individuals get caught in the violence of history. Lovers of Eileen Chang will especially appreciate Vanessa Chan.”
—Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You, Starling Days, and The Sleep Watcher
Vanessa Chan is a Malaysian author. Her debut novel, The Storm We Made, has been sold in twenty languages and territories worldwide, and will publish in the US and UK in January 2024. Vanessa's other work has been published in Electric Lit, Kenyon Review, and more. She is now based mostly in Brooklyn.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 352
Year Published: 2024