Greetings fellow readers!
Welcome back to the site that aims to please the reader in you every day of the week, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Okay, so the likelihood of me appeasing everyone’s reading interests EVERY day is a bit far fetched, however that doesn’t mean that A) I can’t try, and B) I won’t succeed in some fashion at least. Take today’s featured title…it’s an ebook (1 point for reading outside my favored box) with a distinctly historical tinge (2 points) dealing with violent acts carried out in times of war (3 points) that lends to us a new perspective, whether we sought it or not (I’d add another point, but I think you see where I’m going with this ^_^). An ebook specifically for the much older teen or adult reader, I give to you today’s title of choice…
For those of you that frequent the site, you know my preference of reading format…and no, I’m not going to launch into my usual spiel about how I prefer tree books to ebooks etcetera etcetera (though I guess I sorta did just by mentioning it…hmm…). The reason this holds some significance is because this book was an EBOOK; something I struggle with not only checking off my list but also retaining, and general enjoyment. This one? HAD. ME. HOOKED. See why I said there was significance?
Honestly speaking, though I’ve read more than I’d prefer of this format in the past (long live the TREE BOOK!)…what can I say, I’m a lover of the written word at heart, if it speaks to me, I simply can’t say no….or at least try not to…I can’t truly remember the last time I was THIS involved in a book. See, for me (yes, here I go again), ebooks are convenient if A) I’ve finished my current read, or B) it’s the only option available for reading/reviewing a title; in this case, it was the latter…but oh how I wish it wasn’t.
It begins with a death and ends with death, and if you can guess the in-betweens, you’re not paying close enough attention to the story unfolding. There is SO MUCH MORE going on here, so many lives affected, I highly recommend staying in the moment no matter how much it furrows your brow. The story straddles both somewhat current times and that of the Vietnam War, centering on Sun, niece to infamous war veteran Heng Souk, just after the passing of her father. His standing as a hero or criminal is dependent on your view of the situation and word to the wise, be prepared for your standing to be challenged several times throughout the story. It’s that whole “walk a mile in another man’s shoes” business…very telling, very humbling, very interesting results. Anywho, traversing their home city of Hanoi, she seeks out her estranged uncle in order to accomplish the last wishes of his brother…the delivery (or return?) of a package whose contents are deadly in ways one wouldn’t imagine, both to the present AND the past. The wounds it will reopen are many, the paths it will shine a light on are littered with past transgressions and future mistakes, but despite the hardships and discoveries hiding just within the shadows, the journey is worth it in the end for all involved.
This tale packs a serious punch. I had to remind myself at times that it is a work of Fiction because despite it being my step Dad’s tendency, not my own, to read/study war times, it FELT real….scary real...and I was hooked. The story captures you, blinds your sensibilities and turns your reality upside down...at least whilst within the e-pages. One moment you know who the “bad guy” is and the next, you’re questioning that snap decision because you’re seeing it through different eyes and different circumstances. Any one of the characters can be seen in both lights. Sun, Heng, Thomas, Ephraim…each plays both roles at some point or another in their life stories. I found it funny, no…that’s not the right word…perhaps unexpected, that a seemingly secondary character is actually the heart of one of the multiple stories within. I liked the combination of current events, recollections and journal entries; they worked seamlessly together and yet made their mark individually. It can be hard for an author to get readers to connect with one set of characters following one plot line, let alone two, nay three that eventually overlap, intertwine, and burst into a fiery ball of words that you’ll be hanging on to every syllable of. Don’t believe me? Well then, I guess you’ll just have to read it, huh…. *smirk*
In the end, a read I would highly recommend to Fiction and History fans alike. There’s unseen danger and mystery, lovers found and left behind, deeds to reconcile and fates to accept….all adding up to several lives being changed in ways they never even fathomed. Contemplating the meaning of the title will take you many places, all of which warrant exploration in conversation…something to definitely consider if selecting for a book group read. It’s an amazing journey both heart wrenching and unnerving in the same breath, but one thing’s for sure, you won’t leave the story with the same impression of any of the characters you began with. Bookmarks up to this author indeed.
Ebook for review received courtesy of author S. R. Wilsher. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as the author’s other works, be sure to stop by their official site. This ebook is available now so be on the lookout for it on a virtual shelf near you...to help you on your quest, here's a quick link or two....
Until next time…happy reading!