If you’ll allow me to raise my head from the books for a moment: here is a video that accompanies a fundraising drive for Singapore’s first and only specialist service supporting women who have experienced sexual assault. It features the powerful testimony of survivors of sexual assault – talking about, among other things, the importance of supportive services to their recovery. Please watch, give and share! [Disclaimer: this service is run by my employers!]

Zoe Tay for SACC : “The journey: voices of survivors” from Sexual Assault Care Centre on Vimeo.

Zoe And yes that is Zoe Tay (squee!) and here is the selfie that I took with her during the filming (squee!). She was really nice (squee!).

At some point I must put into text my EXCITEMENT about Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests (Sarah Waters! Squee!) but that point is not now.

Escape from Josephine Chia

I was supposed to write a review of Josephine Chia’s novel, My Mother-in-Law’s Son, but about three-quarters of the way in I’ve finally accepted defeat: I have nothing positive to say about this book. The writing is E.L. James meets racist Victorian ethnograph, the plot is full of sub-soap operatic machinations, and we know the eponymous character is pathetic because the narrators tell us – repeatedly – that he squeezes his zits.

I’d been plodding on for some time out of a sense of obligation (free review copy and all that). But last night I got to the chapter in which protagonist Swee Gek meets an “ang moh” (her term) who appears to have been modelled on PepĂ© Le Pew; and she experiences, three separate times in the space of a few pages, “a diaphanous memory” which turns out to be the sensation of falling in ^*~love~*^ with him. I just couldn’t cope after that.

Stornoway has cheered me up though.