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Near the west coast of Singapore lies the leafy enclave of Sabre Green - a haven of wealth and luxury in one of the richest countries in the world. But beneath the glamour lies the insidious truth of the country's maid culture, where a woman's life is cheap.
Here are the voices of the unheard - of maid and employer, of village girl and city dweller. Follow Lucilla, Ma'am Leslie, Shammi and Madame Eunice as they strive, each in their own way, to exist in a country whose pristine exterior belies the dark shadows beneath.
In this candid, often brutal narrative, the lives of four women are woven together. What follows is a story of loss, madness, abuse and hope - and the ways in which they can haunt a woman's life.
`A great read; tense, vivid and involving, both heart-breaking and heart-warming' - Lesley Glaister, author of Jerwood Prize winner Little Egypt
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'Tabatha Stirling's brilliantly achieved first novel, Bitter Leaves, explores the relationships between maids and their employers in Singapore, exposing deeply unsettling truths about what goes on behind the glossy surface of that society. Told in the superbly nuanced voices of four very different female characters, it's a great read; tense, vivid and involving, both heart-breaking and heart-warming. Tabatha is a talented, brave and accomplished writer and I do hope her novel gains the recognition and success it deserves.'
Lesley Glaister is the critically acclaimed author of thirteen novels and the winner of the Jerwood Prize for Fiction 2014 for her novel, Little Egypt.