Book Review: The Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg


The Moonlight Palace (click book or see below for description)
By Liz Rosenberg
Releases 10/1/14
Downloaded free through Kindle First Program – September 2014

Rating:4 bones

Finish Time: 5-6 nights.  I was excited to see a historical fiction read on the Kindle First list for September and this month has (you still have time to get one Prime members!) some pretty good selections compared to some past ones.  Upon my highly technical Google search, I learned that this was actually a true historical fiction in that the Kampong Glam Palace (pictured below in present day) does exist and was under control of Sultan Hussein. This story follows Agnes Hussein, a direct descendant of said Sultan, who appears to be fictional.

Malay Heritage Centre, Istana Kampong Glam 3, Dec 05.JPG

17-year-old Agnes “Aggie” and random family members reside in the now crumbling Kampong Glam Palace in Singapore in the 1920’s.  At first appearing naive, then coming into her own as the story proceeds, she makes it her mission to save her family’s home.  The story contains a vibrant cast of characters ranging from her Uncle Chachi, to Nei-Nei Up and Nei-Nei down.  Throw in a British Grandfather, some palace employees and boarders, along with a few outsiders, this story was full of drama from start to finish.

I really had a vivid picture of this crumbling palace around them (not at all like the picture above!) Almost everyone seemed to accept their situation, but Aggie knew there was something more and was determined to save her family.  A bit of mystery was thrown in at the end and left me wanting so much more when it was over.

Sequel?  I hope so, I felt like it ended well, yet left so much to be desired.  Thanks Amazon for a great September selection!

Description from Amazon:

Agnes Hussein, descendant of the last sultan of Singapore and the last surviving member of her immediate family, has grown up among her eccentric relatives in the crumbling Kampong Glam palace, a once-opulent relic given to her family in exchange for handing over Singapore to the British.

Now Agnes is seventeen and her family has fallen into genteel poverty, surviving on her grandfather’s pension and the meager income they receive from a varied cast of boarders. As outside forces conspire to steal the palace out from under them, Agnes struggles to save her family and finds bravery, love, and loyalty in the most unexpected places. The Moonlight Palace is a coming-of-age tale rich with historical detail and unforgettable characters set against the backdrop of dazzling 1920s Singapore.

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