A Yellow House (Monsoon Books), by Karien van Ditzhuijzen
The author’s debut novel explores the plight of maids in Singapore and the exploitation of migrant workers. Van Ditzhuijzen brings some expertise to the topic. She works with abused domestic workers in Singapore through the charity HOME.
Ten-year-old Singaporean Maya is lonely: her grandmother is dead, her mother is returning to work and her best friend has become a bully. When Aunty M, a domestic worker from Indonesia, joins the family to care for Maya and her baby sister, Maya is determined to hate her.
But Aunty M is kind, quiet and does Maya’s hair for school better then anyone else. She works hard and looks after them well.
When Maya witnesses Aunty M rescue another maid living in the same building as Maya’s family from an abusive employer, Maya’s eyes are opened to the darker, unspoken side of Singapore life.