Oct 2015 - Growing up under the mango tree - Lily Forbes

The book we read this month and enjoyed discussing was Growing Up Under the Mango Tree by Lily Forbes.  The book was published in 2014 and several of our members had links to the author through friends or acquaintances.  Lily Forbes is Malaysian born and is currently working on her second book of memoirs.


The book has no high drama but is a gentle recount of the author's life growing up in Kuala Lumpur.  We felt the book would be enjoyed by a newcomer to KL as the author "illustrates the diverse country of Malaya...very accurately".  The fabric of convention and custom in Malaysia is explained by the anecdotes and family rituals that she describes.


There are many attributes of family and society life described which could very well be shared worldwide within a similar time frame, however, Lily writes of what she knows best--her life and experiences.  In the words of one reviewer, she is courageous to be honest about her failings as well as her successes. 

 This is a gentle, rolling book of memoirs that took us great places in our discussion time and made us think about our own families, cultures and norms.


We would give it a 3.5 out of 5.


Barb Angell