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The Storm We Made

A Novel

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About The Book

NATIONAL BESTSELLER * A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK

In this “espionage-laden family epic” (Vanity Fair), an ordinary housewife becomes an unlikely spy—and her dark secrets will test even the most unbreakable ties.

Malaya, 1945. Cecily Alcantara’s family is in terrible danger: her fifteen-year-old son, Abel, has disappeared, and her youngest daughter, Jasmin, is confined in a basement to prevent being pressed into service at the comfort stations. Her eldest daughter Jujube, who works at a tea house frequented by drunk Japanese soldiers, becomes angrier by the day.

Cecily knows two things: that this is all her fault; and that her family must never learn the truth.

A decade prior, Cecily had been desperate to be more than a housewife to a low-level bureaucrat in British-colonized Malaya. A chance meeting with the charismatic General Fujiwara lured her into a life of espionage, pursuing dreams of an “Asia for Asians.” Ten years later as the war reaches its apex, her actions have caught up with her. Now her family is on the brink of destruction—and she will do anything to save them.

Told from the perspectives of four unforgettable characters, The Storm We Made spans years of pain, triumph, and perseverance. “The tenderness in its details, the ordinary ways that these characters love and laugh in the face of the extraordinary…Chan shows us, with clarity and care, how the truest mirror comes from the intimacy of human connection” (The New York Times Book Review).

About The Author

Photograph by Mary Inhea Kang

Vanessa Chan is the Malaysian author of internationally bestselling The Storm We Made, a Good Morning America Book Club Pick, BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick, and New York Times Editor’s Choice. The novel, her first, will be translated into more than twenty languages worldwide. Her other work has been published in Vogue, Esquire, and more.

Product Details

  • Publisher: S&S/Marysue Rucci Books (January 2, 2024)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668056394

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Raves and Reviews

"The Storm We Made is brave, funny and immensely moving. One of the most powerful and confident debuts I’ve ever read. A storytelling star is born!"
—Tracy Chevalier, author of the international bestseller, Girl with a Pearl Earring

"In Vanessa Chan’s spellbinding debut, one woman’s desire to change her destiny shapes the future of a colonized nation. Combining cinematic grandeur with nuanced storytelling, The Storm We Made offers the hidden history that only fiction can reveal: the everyday yearnings of people surviving a brutal occupation, children trying to make sense of the unspeakable, and the search for love. I’ll never forget this book."
—Jessamine Chan, New York Times best-selling author of The School for Good Mothers

“Devastatingly beautiful and extraordinary . . . Vanessa shines an evocative light on this piece of history. I'm going to be thinking about this one for a very long time.”
—Jessica George, New York Times best-selling author of Maame

“Vanessa Chan's The Storm We Made is a phenomenon unto itself. This is no mere debut, but rather the summoning of a story buried so deeply in a nation that it could only surface with a talent great enough to do it justice.”
—Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk and The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing

"Like the most dazzling historical fiction, THE STORM WE MADE etches intimate details on an epic canvas. Vanessa Chan’s characters face agonizing choices under the darkness of colonization and war, and yet she imbues them with an indelible spirit of resistance that never lets you forget the light. A fearless, gripping, morally complex story by a writer to watch."
-Dawnie Walton, national best-selling author of The Final Revival of Opal and Nev

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