Mala Pandurang reviews A Crowd of Twisted Things by Dawn Farnham (Monsoon books: Singapore . 2013, 326 pages. USD $ 15.95)
A Crowd of Twisted Things is set in Singapore in 1950. Annie Collins returns from Australia to Singapore in May 1950, in search of her daughter Suzy, whom she has lost in the midst of the Second World War. Her quest takes us into the turbulent period of the Japanese occupation of the former British colony. Of Eurasian origin, Annie recounts her unhappy past as a hybrid of colonial circumstances, being ‘half a native of somewhere not white’. She seeks the escape route of a loveless marriage to fifty six year old Australian Ronald, who detests that their baby daughter has a darker complexion. Annie is grievously injured by Ronald just as the Japanese occupy the island, and this trauma imposes a loss of memory. She therefore does not know what has happened to her daughter.