Larry Stueck (San Francisco Bay Area) Only a Girl is a masterpiece of storytelling. In rich and complex prose Lian Gouw develops her characters around a backdrop of multi cultures and the dramatic history of Dutch rule, Japanese occupation and Indonesian Revolution. Though Only a Girl may seem to have a wider appeal to women, Gouw's methodic use of universal values such as ambition, pride, security, fear and love draws all readers into the story irrespective of gender. Lian Gouw is a gifted writer who is able to capture her reader's attention not only throughout the book but even for some time after The End. --amazon.com
By K. L. Anderson (Northern California) This review is from: Only a Girl (Paperback) "Only a Girl" takes place in Indonesia where women's choices were limited by culture and family expectations. Against a backdrop of invasion and upheaval, Carolien tries to make a life for herself on her own terms. Great character development and fascinating historical details make this a great read. Highly recommended. --amazon.com
By Brigitte Carnochan "photographer" (California, USA) This review is from: Only a Girl (Paperback) The history and culture that Lian Gouw narrates so compellingly was almost unknown to me. I kept turning the pages eagerly, wanting to see how the intricate plot unfolded. I believed in the characters. I hope this author is at work on her next novel. --amazon.com
About the Author
Lian Gouw was born in Jakarta, Indonesia when Indonesia was still a Dutch colony known as the Netherlands East Indies. Her family, upper middleclass Chinese, raised her with a Dutch education and cultural values. Lian grew up during the tremulous years of World War II, followed by the post-war period and Indonesian Revolution. Put under the strain of the new Indonesian government, she immigrated to the USA in 1966. Lian s short stories and poems have appeared in Quietus Magazine, Writing for our Lives, Voices and Visions, The Highland s Low Down and Reflections. Her Predicament, an earlier version of the first chapter of her novel, Only A Girl, was included in the 2006 anthology of the SF Writers Conference, Building Bridges from Writers to Readers. In her writing, Lian explores themes of human relationships, connection with animals, and fable-like fantasy. She is particularly interested in the lives and struggles of women.