Singapore: Ethos Books, 2015
When Singapore surrendered to Japan in 1942, Rosaly Puthucheary was only six years old. Under A Shadow offers her personal account of what it was like growing up during those precarious years under the Japanese occupation. Despite the hardships of war, her childhood, as seen through the eyes of a precocious child, was not entirely marred and remained a relatively happy one. She still enjoyed the fun of pretend play with her sister Hazie and the excitement of witnessing her father's latest procurement of a new farm animal.
Unfortunately, as the occupation dragged on, it became inevitable for her family's living conditions to deteriorate. After an unpleasant incident with a Japanese officer, her family sold off almost all the farm animals and moved to a different home.
The fortune of her family runs a similar parallel to the difficulties which the people experienced during the fall of Singapore. With this memoir, Rosaly shares intimate details of her childhood and how it was affected living under an ever looming and threatening shadow.