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About The Book



In this spellbinding novel, an ordinary housewife becomes an unlikely spy—and her dark secrets will test even the most unbreakable ties.

Malaya, 1945. Cecily Alcantara’s family is in terrible danger: her fifteen-year-old son, Abel, has disappeared, and her youngest daughter, Jasmin, is confined in a basement to prevent being pressed into service at the comfort stations. Her eldest daughter Jujube, who works at a tea house frequented by drunk Japanese soldiers, becomes angrier by the day.

Cecily knows two things: that this is all her fault; and that her family must never learn the truth.

A decade prior, Cecily had been desperate to be more than a housewife to a low-level bureaucrat in British-colonized Malaya. A chance meeting with the charismatic General Fujiwara lured her into a life of espionage, pursuing dreams of an “Asia for Asians.” Instead, Cecily helped usher in an even more brutal occupation by the Japanese. Ten years later as the war reaches its apex, her actions have caught up with her. Now her family is on the brink of destruction—and she will do anything to save them.

Spanning years of pain and triumph, told from the perspectives of four unforgettable characters, The Storm We Made is a dazzling saga about the horrors of war; the fraught relationships between the colonized and their oppressors, and the ambiguity of right and wrong when survival is at stake.

About The Author

Photograph by Mary Inhea Kang

Vanessa Chan is the Malaysian author of internationally bestselling The Storm We Made, a Good Morning America Book Club Pick, BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick, and New York Times Editor’s Choice. The novel, her first, will be translated into more than twenty languages worldwide. Her other work has been published in Vogue, Esquire, and more.

About The Reader

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (January 2, 2024)
  • Runtime: 10 hours and 52 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781797166247

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Raves and Reviews

"Samantha Tan masterfully narrates a complex story set in Malaya during the British and Japanese occupations. The novel centers around Cecily and her children, Abel, Jujube, and Jasmin, as they navigate life under colonial rule and later, under harsh Japanese control. Initially a spy against British rule, Cecily dreams of an “Asia for Asians.” However, the grim reality of life under Japanese oppression, filled with fear and brutality, alters her perspective. The story unfolds through the viewpoints of Cecily and her children across two timelines, 1937 and 1945. Tan's adept narration brings authenticity to Cecily, a character tormented by guilt and worry. Tan’s calm, structured delivery makes this a challenging yet engaging and enlightening listen."

– AudioFile Magazine

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