Growing Up Under the Mango Tree

Growing Up Under the Mango Tree

Lily Forbes


The absorbing memoir of a young woman's life in Malaysia and India.

  • ISBN 9781781322277
  • Published Jun 2014
  • Paperback
    229 x 152mm (432 pages)


This is a story about one girl’s dream to escape poverty and fulfil her ambitions. Set against the rich social and political backdrop of war-torn Malaya’s independence, the child’s viewpoint tells a personal story of family life and individual survival in the multi-cultural, multi-religious melting pot of Malaya, as it was then known.

The trials of smallpox and poverty are contrasted with key moments such as meeting Mr Nehru and shaking hands with Mrs Indira Gandhi. Lily Forbes served as a cadet in the Indian National Army, following in her father’s footsteps (he had fought in Burma during World War Two).

An unwanted love interest was followed by a traumatic incident. In an ironic twist of fate, failure in her exams turned Lily’s destiny around. She returned from India to Malaysia.

At the heart of this tale lie forbidden love, a passion for food, and the tenacity to pursue dreams despite surroundings.

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