Beyond the Bali known from idyllic images of Hollywood movies and five-star resort holidays are the secret lives of men and women who flock to the island from around the world in search of new beginnings. Not all find the bliss and peace they hope for.
Island Secrets is a collection of stories of lives fraught with scandal, conflict, heartache and despair. A western wife of a Balinese man enjoys a happy marriage and all the trappings of island wealth but the arrival of a man from home throws her life into turmoil as she surrenders to his seduction. A successful middle-aged ad exec leaves his family to become an artist; he lives an enviable life with a beautiful woman half his age but he soon finds himself weary of paradise. A recently divorced woman goes on a solo holiday and is irresistibly drawn to an attractive young man of dubious intentions.
Bali-resident Alwin Blum offers up vignettes of Bali with characters who navigate their new lives in the sunshine and tropical splendour of the island while harbouring darkness within. Some stay for a season, others for the rest of their days. Some come to forget through sensual escapades, while others re-invent themselves to fit with the brand-new life they have created.
About the author
Alwin Blum first set foot on the island in the 1990s and has lived in Bali, off and on, for over a decade – for seven of those years, in a small home within a Balinese family compound. The author is an avid student and observer of Balinese culture and healing. Although abysmal at yoga, Blum has been known to meditate from time to time. Blum grew up reading authors like W. Somerset Maugham who wrote about the lives of colonial expats in the tropics and the dark underside of the civilised facade. This collection of stories was inspired by the multitudes from around the world that have flocked to Bali to make it their safe haven.