A Message for Nasty

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December 8, 1941. Marie Broom wakes in her home on Hong Kong’s Fortress Hill to the sound of bombs falling nearby. 

Within days, Japanese soldiers have seized the surrounding ​buildings. Soon afterwards they take over the whole island. Most of its British residents are forcibly interned.

Marie’s husband Vincent, a New Zealander, is away on business, trapped in Singapore as it too comes under Japanese attack. Macau-born Marie, 27, her three young daughters, baby son and the family’s amahs must face Hong Kong’s increasingly brutal occupation alone.

This gripping novel, based on a true story, is a chilling portrait of wartime conditions in the British colony that Winston Churchill was happy to abandon to​ its fate, and a page-turning account of Vincent and Marie’s extraordinary attempts to reunite – an epic of courage, love and endurance.

Many famous figures appear: New Yorker correspondent Emily Hahn; Australian doctor Lindsay Ride, founder of the British Army Aid Group; American aviator Claire Chennault of the legendary Flying Tigers; Scotsman John Keswick, head of Far East trading giant Jardine, Matheson. But at its heart are the ordinary citizens of Hong Kong as they struggle to survive in the face of constant danger, disease and near-starvation.

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ISBN: 9781927249840
Awa Press
Publication date:
August 2022
Trade Paperback