The Woman who breathed two worlds by Selina Siak Chin Yok is a beautiful story about one woman’s life in a changing world. Chye Hoon was born in 1878 of Malayan-Chinese descent and raised with deep and meaningful family and cultural traditions. As a young girl, she often rebelled against the role she was destined to play and as she approaches marriageable age, it becomes clear that no one wants to marry her. Until one day, when she was 20, a man does marry her and the story switches to her life as a beloved wife and a mother of their seven children. The winds of change are in the air and Chye Hoon and her husband, Wong Peng Choon, must decide where they go in a changing world. The British began to take control of the area and Chye Hoon fears her traditions are fading. Will she be able to pass on the traditions to her children in the hopes they will still be passed on to future generations? Will the life she has known no longer exist?
The Woman who breathed two worlds is an amazing story with such details and depth that it is long; however, extremely enjoyable. I enjoyed Chye Hoon as the fiery young girl, then as the devoted wife and mother. The title has several meanings in the story which I will not give away before their discovery as you read is a part of the story. I loved the details in the descriptions of life in China and surrounding areas, the complex history and the people who lived there. While the names were confusing and took some time to get straight, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I loved that the story is based on the author’s ancestor’s life from birth to death and she does it so well. I highly recommend The Woman who breathed two worlds. Take your time and soak in the story of this wonderful and amazing woman.
The Woman who breathed Two Worlds
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in paperback and on the Kindle