Maggie's Books & Recipes

in Memory of Margaret H.L. Lim

Reading Corner


PAYAH is about a little Kayan girl named Payah, who, deep in the jungle of Sarawak, rescues a hornbill and a mouse deer, and takes care of a baby Orang-Utan.
PAYAH is suitable for all ages, but it is especially written for school children from the age of eight to twelve.

Click here to read


Four Eyes

Payah is broken-hearted. Her playmates, Sammy the baby Orang Utan and Kenyi the Hornbill, have left to learn the ways of the wild in a place far far away from Payah’s rainforest home…
A diversion occurs that makes Payah forget her heartache. Night after night, fruits from her great aunt’s garden mysteriously disappear. Is there a thief among the inhabitants of Payah’s longhouse, or are the spirits teasing Uku Nyalo?
Payah sets out to investigate, and finds that she has taken on more than she can chew.

Click here to read

Precious Jade & Turnip Head

Payah and Usun, celebrating Chinese New Year with Precious Jade down in Kampong China, learn why Precious Jade’s little brother is called Turnip Head.
Four Eyes, the little orphan Penan boy now in the care of Payah’s great aunt Uku Nyalo, is Turnip Head’s best friend.
As one of Uku Nyalo’s hens disappears, Payah senses trouble brewing. While everyone seems to develope a laissez faire attitude towards the disappearance of Uku Nyalo’s best layer, Uku Nyalo herself sets out to investigate, leaving no stone unturned.

Click here to read

Nonah or the Ghost of Gunung Mulu

Nonah, from the tiny fishing village of Santubong on the west coast of Sarawak, joins her parents who are teaching in a school deep in the Rain Forest.
Nonah is not only homesick for her coastal homeland, she is also a very shy girl. But she soon loses her shyness once she is befriended by Payah and her friends, Usun and Precious Jade, for whom shyness is an alien word.
They write a story winning them a trip to Sarawak’s loveliest of National Parks – Gunung Mulu.

Click here to read

These Enchanted Woods

This children's story is about a "big-city" girl's first adventure in the rainforest jungle of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. Being from the big city, she is out of her comfort zone in the jungle, where life is much different, but she warms up to her new environment and solves a dangerous and frightening mystery...

Click here to read

Mr Funnyman

Mr Funnyman by Margaret H.L. Lim is a short story for children. It is about a boy, Jeremy, who is afraid to tell in class what his father does for a living, but soon learns that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Margaret was inspired by the movie "Patch Adams" starring Robin Williams.

Click here to read

Chaos at Lubok Belaga

CHAOS AT LUBOK BELAGA describes an episode in the life of Margaret's father, Michael Lim Beng Huat (1922 – 1985). The book was published in 1977 by the then existing Borneo Literature Bureau which strove to encourage Sarawak and Sabah’s literary talents and preserve the two Bornean States’ unique literary heritage.

CHAOS AT LUBOK BELAGA is Lim Beng Huat’s compassionate autobiographical and historical account of the last years of the Japanese Occupation, deep in the heart of Sarawak’s rain forest, among the people he loved best.

Click here to read

The Sea Tiger / Harimau Laut

The Sea Tiger was originally written by Margaret's uncle Lim Beng Hap. It had won first prize in 1972 and was published by the Borneo Literature Bureau in 1976. Margaret had re-written this pirate-adventure.

Click here to read

Dorothy's Song

I wrote DOROTHY’S SONG for a short fiction competition that was later cancelled, much to my disappointment. Instead of letting it gather electronic dust in the folder on my desktop, I’m posting it for all of you who might be interested.

I thought it would be a breeze, writing a “short short”. How wrong I was! The largest stumbling block was the limited number of words. In this case, not more than 2500. I couldn’t leisurely build up a character or set up an atmosphere. The time frame was limited, the window opening on the act, a mere gap. I had to pare everything down to essentials.

- Margaret Lim

Note: This is not a children’s story.

Click here to read