Bondmaid, The (Mar 11)

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More About This Title Bondmaid, The (Mar 11)


This remarkable novel tells the moving story of Han, aged four and the youngest daughter of an impoverished family. Sold as a slave into the House of Wu, she quickly forms a close bond with the young heir, but the idyll of childhood attachment quickly turns into a nightmare of frustrated passion as Han reaches her teens—beautiful, proud and in love with the young master. Her life becomes a struggle against the forces of tradition and tyranny in a world where lustful male relatives use bondmaids for indiscriminate pleasure, visiting monks devise ingenious schemes to combine holy public duty with unbridled private indulgences, and gods and goddesses with careless insouciance, smile to see the human drama unfold.

Catherine Lim, Singapore’s top novelist, decided to take the risk of self-publishing this extraordinary book rather than bow to her publisher’s demands to dilute the controversial and heady story of a young girl sold into slavery in contemporary Singapore. Her gamble paid off—The Bondmaid struck a dazzling chord with readers and became a number-one bestseller in six countries. At once a power study of domestic and sexual slavery and a deeply disturbing and radiantly uplifting story, the Bondmaid captures the special ethos of a wealthy and powerful Chinese household in an era of beauty and brutality and chronicles one love—right to its astonishing climax.