I tried about 75 pages of this over the last week and it is not doing anything for me for the following reasons:
1. This is a slow-build of a novel at a time when I am not in the mood for a slow-paced, potentially over-written story.
2. Although the story is set in Penang and I have an interest in the place, it seems to be rather similar to Tan Twan Eng's second book The Garden of Evening Mists, which also deals with a WWII setting.
3. I have a feeling that I can guess where this story is going, and if I am right, it will be very similar to The Harmony Silk Factory. Too similar for my liking.
So, I am going to set this one aside for a book that does not feel like a repetition right now.