A Different Sky.

His mother talked about making his way up the ladder, but when he looked up there was always the inevitable European backside above him.

A Different Sky is a fictional novel based on real, historical facts. It attempts to breathe life into Singapore history and allows readers to relive momentous events beyond our Social Studies textbooks.

Give me your blood and I will give you freedom.

I think every Singaporean should read this book.

Honestly, when I picked up this book, I thought, WWII again?! After all, haven’t we been brainwashed to death about the sacrifices our forefathers made and how monstrous Japanese slaughtered our men and shamed their ladies?

But, reading on, it cast new light on what I thought I knew and injected fresh perspectives that never crossed my mind, precisely because much of what I knew were based on a passive absorption of approved doctrines.

“The Master married me for my feet. Feet as small as mine can drive a man crazy. Look at my beautiful little red dumplings, my golden lilies, my lotus buds.” Second Grandmother stuck out her legs and crooned to her mangled feet.

From feudal ideologies among Chinese elders and blatant discrimination under the British rule, to internal struggles among Japanese soldiers and the undercurrents of democracy. It’s heartbreaking to see the tales of our protagonists play out, as history has already sealed their fates.

Men were flogged to death, worked to death, starved to death and, if they still survived, disease waited to do its worst. Death swatted men like flies each day.

The future lies under a different sky… Perhaps, Howard thought, behind the thin clouds drifting above him, that unknown sky already lay waiting.

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