Book Buzz: The Storm We Made

The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan

In this evocative novel set in British-colonized Malaya, a chance encounter sets off a chain of events that irrevocably alters a family’s life. Housewife Cecily Alcantara is charmed by merchant Bingley Chan when the two meet at a party in 1934. The two grow closer, and eventually Chan reveals his secret: his true name is General Fujiwara, and he is an agent for the Japanese Imperial Army seeking to cast off British rule. Fujiwara persuades Cecily to steal information from her husband’s government employers – information that, years later, leads to a brutal period of Japanese occupation during WWII. Cecily’s children and husband are caught in the net of violence brought on by the war. The two storylines are intertwined as both Cecily’s actions and their effects are slowly revealed. Readers will be riveted by this absorbing story and the questions it asks about loyalty, honor and the aftermath of war. 

Reviewed by Mary Kinser, collection development librarian, Whatcom County Library System

(Originally published in Bellingham Alive March 2024 issue.)