Saving the best for last - The Ash House's very first review
Updated: Jun 10, 2022
When does the space between two shutters indicate a beginning? When an end?
For The Ash House, the journey into the world continues. In October, the diva's story will be landing in the US and UK, and the link for free digital review copies will be shifted to librarything.com
We've had 20 reviews or ratings on Goodreads from the digital reviews from the 70 readers who request downloads. Not bad. But think how much closer we'd be to 100 if all of you sent in a review?
Until you find time to post though, do celebrate the review below with me. It's from the inimitable Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and was the first review I got!
In The Ash House, Audrey Chin lures us into the surreal lives of an ensemble of characters stirred into revelation when a hollowed-out deliverance minister, Sister Mary Michael Chan, ‘daughter of a mother who only ever said no and don’t and stop’ comes to visit the century-old Tjoa Ash House at the heart of the story.
The Ash House where Bing Fa, a pipa-playing love-seduced manipulative diva of a ghost, lingers is a bedevilled, contested place where the scion of the Tjoa family, Barbie-doll-obsessed Arno lives with his dying Gran, his inebriated father, irascible Cook and artful Girl. It is also the spiritual combat zone Mary Michael Chan, who has also been hearing from the seductive diva, enters and where she touches the contours of her own limits.
Audrey Chin weaves an intricate, startling matrix that does away with gaps between the visible and invisible life forces that trap, burden, encumber, deceive and disrupt the living, and influence their choices. The story is a riveting and sensuous voyage into threshold places of drama and duality, of love and betrayal, of dreams and delusions, of family and belonging where the veil between worlds is threadbare.
In this family saga, Chin effortlessly blends the uncanny into everyday realities upending our presumptions. We are left to ask what endures, after the rituals, structures and veneers that exist to domesticate the uncanny have vanished?
Reader, prepare to be deliciously unsettled.
Yvonne's review opened me to the possibility The Ash House could travel widely in the world and speak across oceans. Without it, I would not have embarked on this crazy marketing journey to get 100 Goodreads reviews. It just goes to show how much words can do when they are affirmative, and encourage.
Speaking of which - Yvonne will be speaking with our very own Elaine Chew about The Dragonfly Sea, her breathtaking novel of the connected oceans, this Friday at 6 pm.
Do make a date with these two amazing women @ooksbualbual on Friday, 1st October, 11AM BST, 6PM SG/MY.
Help me pay back what was paid forward.