The story The Curse by Lee Su Ann is about a young girl who faces many painful issues in her life. There is an abusive parent, the burden of guilt, jeolousy and anguish, love that is unrequited, a hint of ghost and a murded to lend that aura of suspense and mystery to the story.The prologue with its discovery of a dead body sets the pace for the drama to unfold. Then the reader is thrust into London where Azreen, the main protagonist, is planning to leave for Langkawi because her sister has died. She arrives in Langkawi and is besieged by rumours about how Madhuri, her sister had died. The siblings' relationship is discussed with much gusto among the villagers, and Normala, the village gossip has a field day spreading juicy stories. Azreen is puzzled about what has happened but does not get satisfactory answers from anyone as either they are ignorant about it or are evasive. Azreen is emotionally shattered that her father had not waited for her to see Madhuri before she was buried and appears to harbour some resentment against her father. Her mother is suffering from Alzheimer's and has become forgetful and confused. Mohd Asraf, the romantic interest in Azreen's life is still in Langkawi and the reader is taken on a flashback journey that tells of a one-sided relationship some years ago. The presence of a bomoh, a frightening Old Lady with special powers and the frequent sightings of an unidentified but apparently ghostly woman arouse interest and anticipation. There are many occasions when things are suggested but not explained as when Azreen's mother exclaims that Madhuri is in danger. What danger did Madhuri face and from whom? The feeling of curiosity is sustained as the reader tries to connect the incidents to understand what is happening and it keeps the tempo until the end. We are told that finding the truth about the murder could bring harm to the innocent and that is why no attempt has been made to discover the indentity of the murderer. These...
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