Lily’s memoir is a vibrant account of the realities of Malaysian culture as a child and a young woman. Her deeply personal memoir contrasts the trials of smallpox and poverty with key moments such as meeting Mr Nehru and greeting Mrs Indira Ghandi. Lily spent her teenage years in India, and served as a cadet in the Indian National Army during her pre-university college year. An unwanted love interest was followed by a traumatic incident, and in an ironic twist of fate, failure in her exams turned Lily’s destiny around. She returned from India to Malaysia, and to her childhood home. The trials and adjustments of family life are then intertwined with a brief passionate love affair. At the age of twenty-two Lily was given the opportunity to travel to England, in order to complete her nursing qualifications. The memoir ends with Lily’s deeply emotional departure from her family and home country, ready for the challenge of a new life.
Born in Malaysia in 1946, Lily Forbes grew up in Colonial Malaysia as the middle child of a large family. Her adolescent years were spent in Pondicherry, South India. In 1969 she realised her childhood dream of coming to England. She qualified as a general nurse then as a midwife in 1974, and later in 1991 trained as a Sick Children’s Nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital where she had the privilege of meeting Princess Diana. At the age of fifty-two, in 1998, she obtained a Masters in Medical Anthropology at Brunel University. Since retiring from working at the Bristol Children’s Hospital as a Clinical Co-ordinator she has pursued other dreams, in particular her love of travel, by visiting Machu Picchu, the Galapagos, and Brazil, amongst many other inspiring places. Cooking is also a huge passion and she loves fusion cooking. In 2009 she appeared on BBC2’s Instant Restaurant. Married with two daughters, she is also proud grandmother to Maddie. She divides her time between Bristol and Manchester.
Published by SilverWood Books, Growing Up Under the Mango Tree (£10.00 ISBN 9781781322277)
Note to editors: Lily is available for interview. Please call SilverWood Books on 0117 910 5829. High resolution images are available to accompany any editorial piece.