The Thorn of Lion City is a terrifying look into World War II-era Singapore. By todayís standards, Popo, the frightening grandmother of Lucy Lum, is a megalomaniacal sadistic child-abuser who rules the roost with an iron fist consisting of harsh beatings and revolting home remedies.
Lumís gentle yet ineffective father (he does nothing to protect her from the dreaded Popo) works as a translator for the Japanese who have invaded their homeland. One cannot help but wonder how long the Japanese would have stayed in Singapore had they been subjected to the tender mercies of Popo.
The Thorn of Lion City is guaranteed to make you cringe in revulsion as you read about what passed for matriarchal care when Lucy Lum grew up. Indignation vies with virulent anger as you read of the way the poor child was treated. Forewarned is forearmed - this book is not for the squeamish, but it is compelling if you can stomach it.