Weight: 630 g
Religious fanaticism, race and a newly emergent nationalism from a potent backdrop to this gripping, real-life drama about the two women who fought for the custody of a 13 year old girl in the post-war colony of Singapore. As a proxy battle between East and West, the grim tale recounted in this book has its fair share of prejudice and mob violence. The tumultuous events that accompanied the legal battle shook the British Colonial Government to its very foundations. Much could be said about the innocent people who lost their lives in the violence that followed the controversial court decision. But Maria Hertogh, or Nadra as the Muslims called her, was probably the saddest victim. Caught between two worlds she did not completely understand, the effect of the uproar on the child at her most impressionable age was something few of us will have to endure. The author recounts the tragic affair with grace and simplicity, drawing upon exhaustive research in both Singapore and Holland. Today, more than 60 years after it faded into history, the story provides us with a timely reminder of how easily the very fabric of a society can be ripped apart by the unwise handling of sensitive issues.
A riveting story in the annals of the history of a community pushed against the wall by the authorities. The same set of authorities destroyed the life of a young woman just to “save” her from her adopted Muslim family. White supremacy and hypocrisy defined the entire saga.
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