This is a book which I found very interesting as though they are love stories, they are not all the 'Romeo and Juliet' kinds. Catherine's pen writes about people's morals and values and bring out the asian flavour. Catherine Lim is also the author of 'Or Else, the Lightning God' and Little Ironies -Short Stories of Singapore'. The stories below are those i find particularly interesting, and would thus like to share with you.
When you have decided upon something, would you change your mind and heart easily? No, unless you really feel it is worth it. This was precisely the case with Michael Tay Yong Wah. He was a refined scholar with good qualifications and a climb up to ca corporate ladder. His wife, Geok, had started a catering business and gave him money to persue his education. Geok was vulgar, coarse, fat and with little education in English, and was thus a stark contrast to Michael's high class, refined and quiet self. Being thus annoyed by her, another woman entered his life.
The woman, Aileen Teng, was as refined as he was. Attracted to her, Michael decided to divorce his wife of nineteen years for Aileen, but after a talk with the Minister, he changed his mind as a divorce would harm his political career. I feel this is very selfish of Michael, thinking only of his career. He was ready to divorce his faithful wife, who loved him madly, and only didn't do so because she was of use to him. Of course, she is rather annoying with her loud-mouthed and crude behavior, but cared a lot for her husband and wanted the best for him. This is a typical story of a selfish, ambitious person, willing to give up personal ties with even his wife, to further his career, and sadly, one of the 'too-many' cases in Singapore.
Too often, we read stories about a wife fooling around outside and a cuckolded husband trying desperately to get his own back. In the story 'Anniversary', a woman called Helen sacrificed her scholorship, her Ph.D for her husband. However, she was betrayed by him when he had an affair outside, not taking into consideration the sacrifices Helen had made for him.
In retailation, Helen mentioned a playboy Brandon and left home for a few days. When she came back, Meng (the husband), noticed a difference in his wife. His wife seemed to be more at ease than usual. Meng was felt uneasy, and thus when she was asleep, he searched her bag. He found a piece of paper, with Brandon's name and a hastily scratched out phone number. Now, the tables have been turned and he is now the one who has been 'betrayed'.
If you ask my opinion, Meng asked for it and in fact deserved it and more. Thumbs up for Helen.