The Seventh Moon

Written by Marius Gabriel
Review by Trudi E. Jacobson

This compelling novel moves between 1970 and 1941-42, with an intermediate stop in 1954. Francine, half British, half Chinese, is married to a British mine manager in Malaya when the Japanese invade the peninsula. Her husband sends her and their daughter Ruth to Singapore for safety. There, she meets a dashing British soldier, Clive. When Singapore falls under attack, Francine, Clive and Ruth make a desparate escape attempt, but before they can reach safety, they are forced to leave Ruth with a sympathetic tribal group, as she is too weak to travel. This devastates Francine, who spends the ensuing years searching for her daughter, shunning other emotional attachments, and building up a successful business empire. In 1970, she is approached by a young woman who may be Ruth. She is suspicious, believing Ruth to be dead.

This bare bones description of just a small part of the plot doesn’t do justice to the interwoven plot lines, the action, the heartbreak encompassed within the story. The vivid writing plunges readers into the places, periods and situations described, making it very difficult to put the book down once started.