"The Malay words for red earth are tana merah and I deem this to be the perfect name for a house which will, I hope, be home to our family for generations to come."Dexter is an old family name in Singapore - Grandpa Jack arrived in the late 1800s and built a huge financial empire out of real estate, rubber and tin. Tanamera begins in the 1930s, and is focused around his grandson John and Julie Soong. John and Julie are in true love forever, but interracial marriage is not the done thing and they have to face life without each other. Besides, things get pretty complicated once the Japanese start rattling their sabers, and once that's dealt with, there's still the sticky wicket of your partners in war - the Chinese communists. This was a fairly solid read for me, although I did have some slow moments here and there with a bit more telling instead of showing (a common occurrence with first person narratives). I have to say I learned waaaaaaaaaay more about life in the jungle than I ever cared to know, particularly the maggots and the ants. Not a spoiler, but just a TMI warning for this quote: He calmly touched the first leech on my neck with the burning end, and after it contracted, squirmed then dropped away he took another long drag until the cigarette was burning and repeated the process until I was leech-free. I couldn't help wondering if it made his cigarette taste any different.Eeeeww. And you don't want to know about getting them off you when it's a rescue mission and you can't burn them off…If you are torn between covers and can't decide which edition to buy, I would recommend this edition (ISBN #0-340-28262-2) over the Bantam Books edition (ISBN #0-553-20921-3). The Bantam edition has very tiny font with thin as bible paper pages (thank you Sarah for that), but is very tightly bound and difficult to read the inside of the pages. Just my two cents.