The book picked my interest as I knew nothing about life in Malaysia. I absorbed its 476 pages in about ten evenings and was delighted by the richness of the story. The author invested two years in researching for and writing the book and she deserves acclaim for such a rigorous and respectful approach to her culture and inheritance. It also reinforces my belief that if history books would have been written by young women or ordinary elderly of those times, we would be reading something quite different.
In times of constantly changing circumstances, books like this help relativizing and reframing. The story of a widowed mother of 10, who succeeds as an entrepreneur in the turmoil of events of the first half of the 20th century, is a great reminder of the human phoenix power. “We each had power, if only we could harness it” is a highlight of the novel I’ll take with me.
The history is written by winners. We hear that. We repeat it. And what it does it actually mean is often left unspoken.
I always wondered what would we find in history books if they would have been written by a young girl or an elderly, who actually lived through, let’s say, the French Revolution, crusades, Renaissance, wars, inquisition, colonisations, industrialisation and so many other moments of human glory and shame on all continents. Perhaps, the glory we find in history books today would not be that shining. Perhaps, there would be other heroes… Perhaps we would understand differently the world of today…
The book presents a perspective on the role of women in the history of the world from first women gatherers to todays “daughters of time”. It is based on the author’s beliefs system and the research she did.
It was fascinating to discover the stories of many amazing women and their contributions to the development of the world as we know it. We owe so many firsts to so many brave souls.
Some view this book as a work of a feminist, others – as a long-awaited redress for a more balanced history of the humankind. We all find in a book what we already have inside. I have different perceptions on many accounts and this does not diminish the value of the book in my eyes.