In The Curse by Lee Su Ann, the main character, Azreen, returns to Malaysia to mourn the loss of her sister, Madhuri. Azreen is studying in the United Kingdom. Azreen senses a cover up about her sister’s death and she decides to investigate further.
In her quest to find the truth, Azreen faces challenges. She really wants to discover the truth behind Madhuri’s death because she knows that the rumour is not true. She believes that it is more than meets the eyes. Azreen also needs to settle the secret feuds within her family and with the villagers. Azreen’s relationship especially with her father is strained. There is no actual communication between them. Azreen also needs to forgive , bury the past and move on with her life and her future. If she is unable to do that, Azreen will not find peace with herself.
The intelligent Azreen listens, observes, questions and sifts things in her mind. She needs to find the conclusive truth. She hears vicious rumours about Madhuri’s death. Her death is a curse to the village. This is confirmed by the Old Lady. In the maze of events which unfold, the past mergers into the present. Azreen finally confronts her father, Encik Saleh, who defiantly admits his crime. Madhuri was having an affair with Mohd Asraf. When the affair became known, Encik Saleh could not contain his anger. In a fit of rage, he accidentally killed faithless Madhuri.
All along, Azreen secretly resents her parents who favoured Madhuri. She hates her father for his unjust punishments. She detests Madhuri for stealing Asraf’s affections. Thus she seeks out the Old Lady, who counsels her and helps her come to terms with herself. The Old Lady helps Azreen to see herself and how people treat her from a different perspective. Resentment would only make Azreen more miserable and she would not be able to live a fulfilling life.
When the Old Lady dies, Azreen is devastated. She finds refuge in nature. When she stands up at the cliff top that her annger finally subsides. She forgive everyone who had hurt her in the past. Azreen leaves the island and forges ahead with her new life. Yes, she has become an orphan but all her life challenges make her a wiser and more loving person.