Looking After The Ashes by Kopi Soh | Book Review


Looking After the Ashes by Kopi Soh

Looking After the Ashes by Kopi Soh
Publisher: Penguin Random House SEA
Publication Date: August 31st, 2021
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Rating 4


If you eat while lying down, you will turn into a snake……
If you don’t polish off all the rice on your plate you will marry a man full of pimples and pockmarks.

Come join me as we enter a world where clipping nails at night was strictly forbidden, pointing at the moon would result in one’s ears getting chopped off, and children were forced to stay indoors during sundown for fear of collision with evil forces. Inside this semi-biographical fiction through Swee Lian’s eyes not only will you find a world of laughter and happiness but also one filled with the comedies and tragedies of life. Her colorful family, with their unique identity, customs, and culture, consists of her deeply religious aunts who believe in magic potions, evil charms, and temple mediums and an uncle who insists that guests entering through the front door must depart the same way lest his daughter ends up a spinster.
Superstitious old wives' tales, supernatural events, and taboos. Stories from a world where mental disorders and illnesses were believed to be caused by malevolent spirits, talismans, mediums, and fortune tellers were a part of everyday life.


The moment I saw the words "a book of superstitious old wives tales, supernatural events, and taboo" I am immediately wanted to jump into the story as fast as I can. I am intrigued to read anything related to that. I don't know why but I enjoy reading those. You know when we were kids those stories was what we kept hearing from our families. Doesn't it?

Looking After the Ashes is a semi-biographical fiction where the author tells stories from her childhood stories and her life growing up hearing lots of superstitious tales and taboo things. Reading this stories it felt likes all the memories rushing back into me when we live with our grandparents years ago. One of the stories that can relate to us is my mom has to change her name because she was constantly ill and immediately after atuk change her name she is okay. I do not understand why but that's they said the name is not suitable for my mom as what happened to Swee Lian's cousin.

To sum up, I believe that there are still some of the "pantang larang" that is pass on to the next generations and as for us has to hear and obey in order to avoid any consequences. Besides that, I love how the author shares about the culture and custom traditions of the Chinese Penang community. 

Looking After the Ashes by Kopi Soh is such a wonderful, intriguing and spooky at the same time. Some of the stories that were related bring those nostalgic feeling. This is a light and enjoyable to read also where you can talk about it with your family and friends about this! This is highly recommended!

Thank you Times Read for the review copy in return for an honest review.


aienienka said…
Awww.. rasa macam nak terus mencari pulak. Seronok baca pantang larang zaman dolu2 ni.
thes said…
seems like a great read! nak carilaaa