The demands of history
The Monsoon Bride
by Michelle Aung Thin
Text Publishing, $29.95 pb, 256 pp, 9781921758638
The historical novel has always been characterised by a formative tension – the demands of history versus the demands of story. The author is caught between relegating the past to a prettified background, or the characters to merely personified social forces. Michelle Aung Thin’s début novel tends more towards the former than the latter, illustrating both the dangers and the pleasure to be found in negotiating between these poles.