Letters to Singapore
Stonehouse, 2022 (2022)
Reviewed by Barbara Lingens
n these letters Simran, her friends and her sister, who all live in Singapore, show us how difficult it is for modern young women to move away from tradition and family customs. It is a huge thing that Simran is allowed to attend university in Canada, so far away from her home. Her mother has a terrible time understanding that this is what she wants to do and can't wait for her daughter's return.
hile Simran is overcoming all the strangeness and freedom of her new location (and trying to do so as cheaply as possible), her friends back home in Singapore share their lives. Spousal abuse and infidelity along with parental pressure create very stressful situations. They envy Simran at first, but then begin to wonder at her newfound independence.
he author has done a pretty good job with the voices in the letters. It would have been easier if her friends' names did not all begin with the letter "A": Amy, Anita - and Simran's sister is Amrit. The highlight of the story for me was when Simran was home after two years, and all the women were together, including Simran's mother and a helper. At that point Simran knows exactly that no matter where they live, what every individual needs is to be acknowledged, heard and celebrated. This is a very worthy endeavor.
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