The Storm We Made

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The Storm We Made book cover

by Vanessa Chan

Publication date: January 2, 2024
Publisher: S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books
Paperback: 352 Pages

Publisher Description

A sweeping epic about an unlikely spy, a secret love affair, and the uncontrollable forces that will test even the most unbreakable ties. Set in Malaya (now Malaysia) during World War II, this spellbinding “most anticipated” (Oprah Daily) novel chronicles a mother and her children as they grapple with the consequences of colonial power and the shocking repercussions that follow for their family and their country.

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.

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About the author

Vanessa Chan is a Malaysian author. Her debut novel, The Storm We Made, is a national bestseller, Good Morning America Book Club Pick and BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick. Acquired by international publishers in a flurry of auctions, the novel will be published in more than twenty languages worldwide. 

Read more about Vanessa ON HER WEBSITE


“Vanessa Chan is the kind of author who can completely transport you to another time and place… it is a total page-turner.” Good Morning America, GMA Book Club Pick

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“This ambitious and sweeping debut novel explores the fallout of a Malayan woman’s decision to become a spy for Japanese forces during World War II. Seduced by promises of an “Asia for Asians,” she instead helps usher in a brutal occupation with devastating costs for her family. ”The New York Times

“Vanessa Chan’s espionage-laden family epic, which takes place in Malaya under British and Japanese occupation, dissects the moral complexity of decisions made under duress.” —Vanity Fair

“World War II might be the most popular subject for historical fiction, but Vanessa Chan’s debut, The Storm We Made, defies the typical focus on the Western front and a clear-cut distinction between good and evil that characterizes many books… [a] heartbreaking story of a family riven by war.” —Jenny Shank, Minneapolis Star Tribune




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