After Perak Resident James Birch was murdered in 1875, his pocket watch came into the possession of Mastura, a member of the Perak royal family. An intimate friend of the late Resident, Mastura was devastated by his death and decided to keep the watch as a talisman against the uncertain times ahead. She vowed to return it one day.
This is the story of Mastura and her descendants, as she and her family made their way through 80 tumultuous years of colonised Malaya until, with Merdeka, the talisman could finally be returned with honour. It is a story of courage, fortitude and faith. And of love.
Shahriza bin Hussein was born in 1943 in Selangor, Malaysia. Educated in local English schools, including the prestigious Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur, he graduated with honours from Australia’s Monash University and served for eight years in the Malaysian education sector as a teacher, examinations specialist and curriculum consultant.
In 1976, he established his own publishing company, which he administered successfully for the next 30 years. He voluntarily retired as its managing director and chief editor in 2005 to work on his first novel, Legacy.
Shahriza has produced numerous features, articles and short stories, which have been published in local English-language magazines and newspapers.
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