Bitter Leaves

Bitter Leaves

4.04 (69 ratings by Goodreads)
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Near the west coast of Singapore lies the leafy enclave of Sabre Green - a haven of wealth and luxury in one of the richest countries in the world. But beneath the glamour lies the insidious truth of the country's maid culture, where a woman's life is cheap.

Here are the voices of the unheard - of maid and employer, of village girl and city dweller. Follow Lucilla, Ma'am Leslie, Shammi and Madame Eunice as they strive, each in their own way, to exist in a country whose pristine exterior belies the dark shadows beneath.

In this candid, often brutal narrative, the lives of four women are woven together. What follows is a story of loss, madness, abuse and hope - and the ways in which they can haunt a woman's life.


'A great read; tense, vivid and involving, both heart-breaking and heart-warming' - Lesley Glaister, author of Jerwood Prize winner Little Egypt
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 26mm | 276g
  • Unbound Digital
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1789650208
  • 9781789650204

Review quote

'Tabatha Stirling's brilliantly achieved first novel, Bitter Leaves, explores the relationships between maids and their employers in Singapore, exposing deeply unsettling truths about what goes on behind the glossy surface of that society. Told in the superbly nuanced voices of four very different female characters, it's a great read; tense, vivid and involving, both heart-breaking and heart-warming. Tabatha is a talented, brave and accomplished writer and I do hope her novel gains the recognition and success it deserves.'
Lesley Glaister is the critically acclaimed author of thirteen novels and the winner of the Jerwood Prize for Fiction 2014 for her novel, Little Egypt.
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About Tabatha Stirling

I am proud to live in Edinburgh, Scotland with my Warrior-Poet husband, two beloved children and a depressed Beagle, called The Beagle.

We have come back to live Scotland after six years abroad in Singapore and Germany. I am a bit of a nomad so it feels a little odd settling in again.

I was never any good at 9-5 and a hopeless secretary so I've had many jobs, including working the door at London clubs, cupcake baker, cycle courier and a counsellor. I always wanted to work for MI5 but failed the critical thinking test.

In September. I start my Mlitt in Creative Writing at Glasgow University, which is very exciting, and I look forward to being back at Uni, albeit part time.

When I'm not writing or baking cupcakes, I am thinking about writing, reading, designing book covers, gaming or watching dark, blood-splattered dramas like the Walking Dead, Ray Donavon and Sons of Anarchy. I am totally prepared for a zombie apocalypse!
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Rating details

69 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 41% (28)
4 30% (21)
3 22% (15)
2 7% (5)
1 0% (0)
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