Trafalgar Sunrise

Finalist of the Singapore Book Awards 2019 (Best Literary Work)

Tragalfar Sunrise cover image


On one of those nights when the two of us were alone in our cottage, she said to me, “I named my little girl ‘Wan Mei’. You know why?”

I looked into her eyes, where the pain came through. In Chinese, “Wan Mei” means complete, beautiful. I nodded.

She continued, “They tell me she has been adopted by an Australian couple. She will have an English name.” She paused. “Not Wan Mei anymore.”

“But she will still have a normal life. A better life. Complete and beautiful,” I said.


From Singapore Literature Prize-winner Danielle Lim comes a powerful meditation on love, grief, redemption and awe at the resilience of the human spirit.


Ward sister Grace Hwang battles alongside fellow healthcare workers in Singapore when the SARS virus—invisible, relentless and deadly—strikes in 2003. In the thick of it, she looks back at her teenage years in Trafalgar Home, a leper colony where Alice, her best friend, was forced to give her newborn up for adoption. With Alice now in the last stages of cancer, Grace attempts to reunite her with her long-lost daughter before Alice dies and along the way, seeks to discover the person who found the cure to leprosy.


Elegant, thoughtful and richly portrayed, Trafalgar Sunrise is a double helix of a novel that knits together the gripping drama of the present with the haunting anguish of the past, pitting human against microbial, choice against consequence and deed against redemption.