The House of Little Sisters by Eva Wong Nava – Review | Blog Tour

An inspiring story.


A supernatural exposé of a past system that still has a tight grip on contemporary Singapore and Malaysia. It’s August of 1931 in Singapore, sixteen-year-old Lim Mei Mei (Ah Mei) arrives at the home of Eminent Mister Lee on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Month. She has been sold to the family as a mui tsai, an indentured servant girl. At the Lee household, Lim Mei Mei’s life education begins. There she encounters the spirit of Ah Lian, a mui tsai, who paid the ultimate price for her mistake. Through Ah Lian, Ah Mei discovers the plight of mui tsai, who are both helpless and powerful, and uncovers a shameful secret lurking in the shadows in the Lee house. Ah Mei also meets and falls in love with Hassan Mohamed, an Indian-Muslim and an aspiring poet, breaking every clause in the rule book of love in 1930s British Malaya. She becomes Hassan’s Polar Star, and the young lovers must find a way to stay together. Through a twist of fate, Ah Mei finds a solution that will keep her and Hassan together, at the same time gaining agency that will secure her own future as an uneducated servant girl in British Malaya.

The House of Little Sisters by Eva Wong Nava - Review | Blog Tour
The House of Little Sisters by Eva Wong Nava – Review | Blog Tour

Rating: 5 out of 5.


The House of Little Sisters by Eva Wong Nava is a lyrical story poignantly bringing to light the injustice that the Mui Tsai (indentured servant girls) in 1930s British Malaya faced.

The main character, Lim Mei Mei, is a brave girl. Through her, I got to know how the Mui Tsais were snatched away from their families at a tender age and forced to work for the wealthy and were often abused.

Food occupies a special position in this story. The author describes the Peranakan Chinese cuisine so vividly I was salivating throughout the novel. So, don’t keep your stomach empty while reading The House of Little Sisters.

It’s not just the food that delighted me. Eva Wong Nava brings alive the sights and smells of the Singapore before WW2. I enjoyed reading as much about the Lee household as the descriptions of the alleyways and markets that Mei Mei and Hassan would visit in their joint escapades.

Last but not the least, Hassan quotes Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry. He is the greatest Bengali poet ever born and being a Bengali, this touched my heart.

Even though the book deals with some heavy topics, it left with me a beautiful feeling in my heart. Heartily recommended to every historical and literary fiction lover.

The House of Little Sisters by Eva Wong Nava book
The House of Little Sisters by Eva Wong Nava


Genre: YA Historical Fiction || Pages: 240 || Published on February 22nd 2020 by Penguin Random House SEA

Buy on Amazon

Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Tours for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.


Eva Wong Nava

Eva Wong Nava lives between two worlds. She reads copiously and writes voraciously. She believes in connecting Asia to Europe and America, and finds immense pleasure in telling her English daughters stories of Singapore where she spent a big part of her childhood. She regales them with tales from Chinese myths and literature, imbuing her stories with personal experiences of watching the Chinese opera with her mother. Her favourite Chinese opera is The Monkey King’s Journey to the West.

Eva holds a degree in English Literature and Language from the University of Hull where Philip Larkin was once the University Librarian (and the reason why she chose to go there!); a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from University College London where the Institute of Education resides, and a certificate in Art Writing from Sotheby’s Institute of Art which she undertook to better understand what the craft entails. She holds a M.A. in Art History and has taught children and adults how they can use writing for communication and play. She is the founder of CarpeArte Journal, an online space, which publishes works of flash fiction. Eva’s flash fiction have appeared in various places and her writing on art have been published in international art journals.

Author Link(s): Website

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Author: debjani6ghosh

I started this blog to discuss books that I read and movies that I watch. But the blog may not be purely restricted to that!

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