Cover Image: Journey to Paradise

Journey to Paradise

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is a beautifully written historical fiction set in post WWII with vivid descriptions of life in Singapore for an English expat. It is a story filled with loss, love, betrayal and hope with rich characterization. Thank you NetGalley, Random House UK and the author for this eARC in exchange for my honest review. Available now through Barnes and Noble.
Was this review helpful?
Journey to Paradise tells the story of Miranda and Gerry who arrive in Singapore post world war 2 to start a new life after the loss of their child at home. Miranda doesn’t want the life of a lady at leisure like the other ex pat wives and soon finds a way to help the local community showing her that she doesn’t have to be what everyone else wants her to be and can find her own paradise. 

I really enjoyed this book. The setting is not one I’ve read about and I really love reading about different countries especially with a historical context. It was easy to picture the sights, sounds and smells of post war Singapore and winding the story around a true historical event - the Maria Hertogh riots - provides the reader with something to learn (and Google !). 

The loss of their child is dealt with sensitively and the obvious and not so obvious effects of this on Miranda also provide a deeper picture and understanding of such a terrible event.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone Publishing and the author, Paula Greenlees for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Miranda and her husband Gerry, while grieving the loss of their only child, decide a change is in order and decide to move to Singapore for his career and for a change in the 1940's. While there, they are faced to confront the challenges to their relationship because of the loss of a child and make choices about moving on with life. Gerry is enjoying his time in Singapore, enjoying the social life, etc., but Miranda feels empty and is looking for some fulfillment.

The descriptions of Singapore and the surrounding heat are incredible and leave you feeling like you are there. The writing is beautifully done and Paula has made easy to imagine being apart of the environment and situations she's writing about.

This novel also tackles some more difficult challenges such as the inequality in women's rights back in the 40's, as well as the British superiority that was a huge challenge when Great Britain was busy trying to own the world. Ultimately, the main themes are love, betrayal and finding yourself despite challenges.

Totally recommend. An absolute beauty of a read.
Was this review helpful?
This was a great read. It was well written with a great storyline and well developed characters that were compelling. I couldn't put this book down, it was full of beautiful imagery and rich descriptions. I cannot wait to read more by this author.
Was this review helpful?
Plot:  In 1949, Miranda and Gerry move to Singapore for Gerry's job in the British Foreign office and a fresh start after the loss of their Son, Henry. Gerry is working all hours and Miranda feeling at a loss in a country she is still trying to learn their way of life. The local Doctor, Nick Wythenshaw encourages Miranda to volunteer at the local hospital but after riots begin in the local town and a feeling of uneasiness takes over, Miranda must decide to either follow her heart or turn a blind eye to all that is going on around her. 

Review: This is a fantastic historical fiction novel. I literally couldnt stop reading it. The descriptions of Singapore and its culture, sense of community and landscape is very well written and gives you a great sense of actually being there. I loved Miranda's character and I felt like I had been on an emotional journey with her. I was holding ny breathe reading the last few chapters as I had a vision in my head of how I wanted it to end. 

This is a debut novel by Paula Greenlees and I am very much hoping that she writes another one as this one is amazing. 

This novel would appeal to anyone who loves historical romantic fiction.
Was this review helpful?
This was a brilliant read and is being featured on my blog for my quick star reviews feature, which I have created on my blog so I can catch up with all the books I have read and therefore review.
See www.chellsandbooks.wordpress.com.
Was this review helpful?
I would firstly like to thank NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I think we all know by now that I love historical fiction, and so when a debut historical fiction novel pops up, I’m not going to say no. I’d seen this book all over Instagram as there were some blog tours, but I didn’t get the opportunity to join in and I was so disappointed as the reviews were glowing. When I saw it still available on NetGalley I jumped at the opportunity, and I’m so glad I did.

Miranda and Gerry Lewis move to Singapore from England in the late 1940’s for a fresh start. For Miranda, escaping from England means that she’s escaping from the harsh reality of losing her baby, Henry, though she remains full of grief and mentally isn’t doing well. The writing in this book is beautiful – so descriptive and sets the scene well. This creates such a page-turner of a novel. I knew from early on that this was going to be a fantastic read.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish!
Was this review helpful?
4 Stars.

When Miranda loses her son and her life falls apart, she and her husband take the opportunity to move to Singapore for Gerry's work, hoping it will be a fresh start. Instead, Miranda finds that she isn't sure that she can move on in this new world, and her relationship with Gerry falls apart. What she does find is the handsome and lovely Dr Nick Openshaw, who is able to see in Miranda what Gerry isn't interested in looking for. 

I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this novel, the descriptions of Singapore were beautiful and I really felt like I was there. At the same time, I found it really frustrating to read how the British expats treated the locals (not that this is the fault of the novel, I think it's a really realistic portrayal, it just makes me annoyed ). Also, Gerry's an asshole and I love Nick. That is all.
Was this review helpful?
"Journey to Paradise" is a story of a woman with a secret which she is struggling to come to terms with.  Her husband decides that a change of scene to Singapore will help her to come to grips with her situation.  However, he is not really helping, especially when he has to spend increasingly long hours at work due to the political situation.

This is a book set in a community within a community where there is expected to be little mixing - an untenable situation which eventually led to the end of British Colonialism.  It is also about love, forgiveness and understanding.  This is an interesting read which casts some light on life in late 1940's Singapore.

Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the opportunity to review this book.
Was this review helpful?
4 stars

An interesting read, evocative of life in Singapore.  Our heroine, Miranda has had a tough time.  Her baby has died, sudden infant death, could be a trigger for some readers and in her pain she found herself  in a shameful and difficult situation.  Her husband Gerry has a new job  in  Singapore so they sell up and take the cruise ship down to this exotic island.  Miranda has a close friend near by but she finds it difficult to interact with the local ex-pat community.  She gets on well with her indigenous cook/maid.  Nick is a local doctor who works for a cash strapped local hospital come charity. He has his own nemesis in the matron nurse.  

There's lots of well crafted characters and historical context, the romance is fairly muted.  A good description of wives moral dilemnas when facing separation or divorce. 

This is a new author for me and I will look out for more of her work.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own..
Was this review helpful?
After losing her young son, Englishwoman Miranda’s husband and family decide it would be a good idea to start over fresh, in Singapore. Everyone tells her that she will adjust, and learn to love her time there. However, as more time passes, this start to change, and not necessarily for the better.

I DEVOURED this book. It was such a beautiful read. Miranda is such a likable character, one you feel connected to and you feel for. Additionally, I felt the story flowed very well. It was descriptive and well paced, and give enough location descriptions to really help you imagine the locations. 

The only thing I would critique (which is just a personal preference) is the speech patterns of the locals. I understand the need for it, however, for me it just made me feel slightly uncomfortable. There were a few moments where the speech pattern almost hindered my enjoyment. 

Overall, this book was a very lovely read. Honestly, I could see myself reading it again when I need a quick reset read I know I will enjoy.
Was this review helpful?
I feel in love with this book, the setting was post WWII where Mirander and Gerry set off for a new life in Singapore. This book did not let me down.

 I was transported to Singapore and felt the humid, oppressive climate. I felt as if I was actually there.

The story covered loss, grief, deceit, but along with that a balance of love and kindness too she received in the end of the story. The characters came a live from the pages.

This story was so well researched and it made for an exquisite read.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book historical fiction could be Romance section too
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

One requesting this book I wasn't really sure what to expect. Married couple Miranda and Gerry Lewis are both English and relocate to Singapore in 1941 for Gerry's job. Hoping this will be a fresh start for both of them, Miranda is still grieving after the death of their infant son and not coping very well, Henry was her world. Her Husband however, just wants her to get on with things and try for another baby but she isn't ready.

Whilst Gerry settles into his luxurious life in post war Singapore, Miranda is falling deeper into despair, still longing for her son, not settling into life in a foreign country and struggling to make friends. She would like to volunteer at the local hospital but her Husband thinks she should stay at home and keep house. Their relationship quickly deteriorates and Gerry goes out more spending time at work or in the bar and Miranda strikes up a relationship with the local Doctor who also has his own demons, he encourages her to work within the local community and she starts to find a new purpose.

The sights and sounds of Singapore are brought to life by the author, the descriptions were amazing. She also showed the stark contracts between the ex-pats and the locals and how different life for both sides was. 

I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely look out for the authors up coming books.
Was this review helpful?
I fell in love with this book almost immediately, the setting was post WWII where Mirander and her husband Gerry set off for a new life in Singapore.  This is one of my favourite era’s for historical fiction and this book did not let me down. 

The writing was beautiful, smooth and fluid.  I was transported to the jungle where I felt the humid, oppressive climate.  I could smell the mixture of spices and street cooking mixed with sulphur and waste, sweet jasmine and a post storm jungle.  This was all thanks to some very detailed and clever writing. 

The story covered loss, grief, deceit, but along with that was a balance of love and kindness too.  I really did feel for the main character, Mirander.  Two main points I loved about this story was that she had a lot more support than she thought she had.  Her childhood friend Georgina was fiercely supportive even when things started going wrong and she also didn’t give her mother-in-law enough credit either.  The other point being that it’s never too late to start over and find happiness if you just have the courage.

My favourite character was Mei ling. I could picture her so vividly.  Short, strong, obtuse at times, but so warm and caring too.  She had me in stitches with her wise words and sharp tongue. 

In a time where it was difficult to communicate and letters would take weeks to arrive you can see how isolated one could be.  This story was so well researched and it made for an exquisite read. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m so glad I signed up for this tour.  I would definitely recommend to all historical fiction fans.
Was this review helpful?
Miranda’s husband Gerry gets a new job in Singapore, so she drops everything in England to move out there with him. Struggling with the recent loss of her baby, Miranda doesn’t want to be an idle housewife, and searches for ways to contribute to the society and keep herself busy. 

She ends up meeting Nick, a children’s doctor at the hospital, where she decides to volunteer. Her relationship with Gerry struggles more and more, and she struggles to make friends with the other wives in the neighbourhood. Meanwhile her and Nick are becoming closer and closer. 

I really warmed to Miranda and the struggles she dealt with in her marriage and with the trauma of her baby loss, which was dealt with very sensitively. I loved watching Miranda’s relationship with Mei Ling blossom, and it was lovely to see her develop a close bond with someone. 

I knew I hated Gerry from the beginning, but my feelings were only validated more and more the further I got in! 

I got so much enjoyment out of reading this book - all the detail about Singapore itself fascinated me, as I am due to be moving out there soon with my boyfriend for his PhD program! Maybe I’ll end up finding myself a nice doctor instead 👀😂

Also the details in the book that were based on real events in Singaporean history, such as the riots following WWII, were really interesting to read and were included in the story so well as to not just throw it in as a token. I’m interested in reading up a bit more about these events after finishing the book! 

I am fairly new to historical fiction but everything I have read in the genre so far has been fantastic! Throw in the romance element and the relativity to my own move to Singapore and I was instantly sold!
Was this review helpful?
My original opinions of the characters wasn’t great, but I love how (most) of them evolved. By the end, I grew to like Miranda and Nick. While it was hard, I definitely think she make the best choice for her future. If I pitched the author a sequel idea, I would either like to see the future of Poppy, or the life of Georgina in America. All in all, I found this book a little disappointing.
Was this review helpful?
Miranda and Gerry have suffered the loss of their child, they are hoping with the move to Singapore that they will get over this tragedy.  Miranda has a hard time adjusting until she meets a young doctor who she helps with young children in a clinic.  She grows further from her husband, and closer to the doctor.  Will she find future happiness with either man?

This has been one of the best books I have read in awhile.  Very well written, I hated for the story to end.  I look forward to reading more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
This was such a good book. To be read by the beach or in the garden.  Let this story take you away for a few hours of reading bliss. Lovely cover too!
Was this review helpful?
This historical novel explores the life of a British ex pat woman in Singapore.  I received this book as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This book took me straight to Singapore with the characters, I really enjoyed seeing Miranda become such a strong women & take control. Beautiful story, great characters, worth a read.
Was this review helpful?