Circumstance: Truth and lies in the Malayan jungle
- About the Author
It is 1924, and the British rule Malaya. Guy is a colonial administrator in charge of Kluanak, a remote district deep in the jungle. Nony is Guy’s concubine. She is Malay, and together they have three mixed-race children.
Guy is granted Home leave and uses this opportunity to find himself an English wife, assuming that on his return he’ll be given a new posting far from Kluanak. In England, Guy meets Rose, sweeps her off her feet, and they marry just before setting sail for Malaya.
Alas, on arrival in Malaya, Guy is posted straight back to Kluanak. He has as yet told Rose nothing of Nony and the children, and even now he remains silent, although he knows full well that soon his disavowed jungle family and his bride will be living cheek-by-jowl amongst the pressing trees. Once they are all three isolated in Kluanak, Guy, Rose, and Nony become entangled in vines of secrecy and lying; they are snagged by thorns of bribery and blackmail, and caught in sticky webs spun from poisonous ultimatums. Together, they play dangerous games of bluff and counter-bluff. Something must give between them: but what?
Circumstance was inspired by The Force of Circumstance, a short story by W. Somerset Maugham and is the first in a trilogy of Maugham-inspired colonial tales set in 1920s Malaya.
Rosie Milne worked as a book editor in London before moving to New York, where she wrote her first novel, How to Change Your Life, about an editor of self-help books who tries to follow the advice in a self-help book.
She then moved to Hong Kong, where she wrote her second novel, Holding the Baby, about the way motherhood turns women’s lives upside down, and where she worked as a books columnist at the South China Morning Post.
Rosie then moved to her current home, Singapore, where for a time she wrote about the city for the UK Telegraph, and then set up Asian Books Blog.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 464
Year Published: 2018