An epic set in Malaya predominantly during the time of the Japanese invasion. It tells how an Anglo-Chinese youth, Philip Hutton, struggles to protect his family as the Imperial Japanese war machine crushes the vestiges of British rule in Penang.
Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang, but lived in various places in Malaysia as a child. He studied law through the University of London, and later worked as an advocate and solicitor in Kuala Lumpur. He has a first-dan ranking in Aikido and is a strong proponent for the conservation of heritage buildings. He has spent the last year traveling around South Africa, and currently lives in Cape Town where he is working on his second book.