The Rose of Singapore
For young aircraftman Peter Saunders, Singapore in the early 1950s holds all the promise of the Orient: exotic surroundings, unusual customs, and mesmerizing women. Peter soon meets and falls in love with a local Chinese girl but only later does he learn she is not all she seems. This historical romance blockbuster unfolds amidst Communist insurgency in colonial Southeast Asia.
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Gerard Seow found Peter Neville's book, supplying an anecdotal history of prostitution of the 3 Worlds (New, Gay, Happy) among the cabaret & working girls servicing local and foreign customers particularly servicemen such as 'Peter Saunders' whose time in Singapore connects the local shophouse communities in the Jalan Besar / Geylang area and the story of one member of the RAF based at Changi during the 1950's. Mention of Haw Par Villa, Blue Rajah cafe at Dingham Road, the junction of Lavender & Bendemeer Road (where Rose stayed) etc makes it a credible source of information for any student of Singapore's colonial history.
I found this book initially slow going and predictable, but, (without me spoiling the plot), it picks up about halfway through to make an interesting insight into a British servicemans life in the 1950's.
I started to read it because I now live in S.E.Asia and was interested in the historical aspect of the Malayan emergency.
I am glad I read it and will reccomend it to my friends.