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When the Future Comes Too Soon (Malayan #2) by Selina Siak Chin Yoke: A Book Review

When the Future Comes Too Soon (Malayan #2)
Author: Selina Siak Chin Yoke
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: AmazonCrossing
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Pages: 322
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: In Japanese-occupied Malaya, lives are shattered and a woman discovers her inner strength in a world ravaged by war.

     Following the death of their matriarch, the lives of Chye Hoon’s family are turned upside down. Now that the British have fled and the Japanese have conquered, their once-benign world changes overnight.

     Amid the turmoil, Chye Hoon’s daughter-in-law, Mei Foong, must fend for her family as her husband, Weng Yu, becomes increasingly embittered. Challenged in ways she never could have imagined and forced into hiding, Mei Foong finds a deep reservoir of resilience she did not know she had and soon draws the attentions of another man.

     Is Mei Foong’s resolve enough to save herself, her marriage, and her family? Only when peace returns to Malaya will she learn the full price she must pay for survival.

     My Review: When the Future Comes Too Soon picks up where The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds left off. Shortly after Chye Hoon’s death, the Japanese bombed Malaya. Mei Foong, Chye Hoon’s daughter-in-law, must make the decision to flee the city of Ipoh and escape into the countryside. In the meantime, her husband, Weng Yu, is facing depression and becomes weak. Mei Foong must fight to keep her family safe and alive. They flee the city, but they find that they are in equal danger. Can Mei Foong be strong enough to save her marriage and her family?

     I liked Mei Foong, but not as much as Chye Hoon. Mei Foong is different from her mother-in-law, who is feisty and strong-willed. Mei Foong is quieter, weaker, and more indecisive. I really did not like that she let many men walk over her.`  I also didn’t like how her husband treated her. He mostly ignored her and was rude to her. Instead of expressing her emotions, Mei Foong just accepts it meekly. This is pretty much the problem I had with her. Unlike Chye Hoon, Mei Foong never shows her emotions unless we get inside her head. Therefore, it was harder to like and relate to Mei Foong as a character.

     Overall, this book is about survival, family, and identity. I found most of the characters to be frustrating. Mei Foong’s husband is portrayed as a weak coward. I did like what the supporting characters thought about Mei’s mother-in-law. When the Future Comes Too Soon is a much shorter and faster pace novel than The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds. Still, I found this sequel not as good as the first. I also thought the ending was a bit of a letdown. The book is very well-written, and I liked the historical setting of Japanese occupied Malaya. Despite these negative aspects, When the Future Comes Too Soon was mostly an enjoyable novel. I recommend this novel for fans of The Diplomat’s Daughter, The Moonlight Palace, and The White Pearl.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


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