15/10/2011 BY CIKGU MAIA
In “The Curse” by Lee Su Ann, Azreen takes time off from her studies in London, UK, to return to her village in one of the legendary islands of Langkawi. She returns to mourn the loss of her older sister, Madhuri. However she finds out via rumours and loud whispers that Madhuri was murdered.
At her village Azreen has to contend with a cold-hearted father and support an Alzheimer stricken mother. Azreen is subjected to negative comments and suspicion from her neighbours. She finds consolation in the company of the Old Lady, an outcast of the village. Although the grand Old Lady is educated and knowledgeable, the villagers shun her because she had murdered her abusive husband.
Azreen has to confront the mystery that shrouds her sister’s sudden death under suspicious circumstances. Her old classmate, Mohd. Asraf, refuses to reveal what he knows. A mysterious figure keeps on watching Azreen and strange things happen. Madhuri’s room is partially destroyed in a fire. A carcass of a chicken with a broken neck is thrown in front of her house. Many villagers fall sick for no apparent reason. The Old Lady is killed in a fire accidentally caused by an angry Mohd. Asraf.
Bit by bit, the mysterious death of Madhuri is revealed to Azreen.
Azreen hurriedly leaves her studies in England to return home after receiving news that her sister had died. Her coursemate, Julian Ng, tries to offer his sympathy and condolence but she was not in the mood to talk about the matter.
On the plane home, Azreen experiences flashbacks of her early days with Madhuri and how Madhuri was well-liked by people. Madhuri was beautiful and soft-spoken compared to Azreen, who was an obstinate child.
Back home, on an island south of Langkawi Island, Pn. Kamsiah was talking with her daughter Siti...