Infused with Chinese and Nyonya cultures and beliefs of the first and second generation Chinese in old Malaya, this book covers the life of a pampered young Cantonese girl born in the rich tin-mining town of Ipoh in the 1920s during British Rule. Growing up amidst her grandfather’s family, his six wives and thirty-nine children, Lorraine Leong’s life was a mix of the old-world charm and a patriarchal society.
Moving from the City of Millionaires (as Ipoh was referred to in those days) to live with her husband’s family on Penang’s Millionaires’ Row (Northam Road), she became a popular member of the tropical island’s elite society.
She excelled in contract bridge, playing this intellectual card game with the Chief Minister, his wife and visiting dignitaries, and subsequently representing Malaysia in international bridge tournaments, emerging Champion several times.
Lorraine eventually became one of the earliest women in Penang to divorce her husband, despite bearing no qualifications and four children in tow.
With the mindset of the times, when a woman’s value was determined more by the men in her life than her own worth, this book brings awareness to the later generations of the obstacles and prejudice women of the
past faced and lived with.