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Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. This book, you guys. My heart just filled with ten thousand rivers of emotions and tears. She quickly becomes entangled with the dark secrets and political intrigue surrounding the case. June's writing This book, you guys.
June's writing is so atmospheric, and sometimes I had to pause and close my eyes over the gorgeous imagery her prose evoked. Even better than the setting are the characters -- strong, wounded, yet brave -- and the relationships between them. It's not often that I get teary or feel sad reading a book -- but certain chapters of June's had me clutching my chest and reading the lines over and over again because they were just so perfect a delicate balance of hope and depth and grief.
The book is filled with themes of courage, morality, feminism, and family relationships, each explored in such sweeping, lush ways. I'm so honored to have read an early version of this, and I cannot wait to buy this once it's out. A gorgeous debut. It was on Goodreads and it was beautiful. I am confused and devastated.
View all 7 comments. Aug 23, Elora Cook rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , inspiration , need-this-right-now. I had the utmost pleasure of reading this a while back and adored every word. June's writing is breathtaking, her characters pull at your heart, and her mystery is both alluring and constantly leaves you guessing!
I am so excited that others will be able to read this beautiful book as well and that someone as deserving as June gets to have her words be out in the world. Everyone, you are doing yourself a favour by adding this book to your TBR! Aug 23, Sasha Nanua rated it it was amazing. A fantastic, twisty tale following a murder investigation in s Korea.
If I could pre-order it right now, I would. I am so excited for the world to read this book in ! Congrats, June! Jan 28, Tanya rated it it was amazing. I just finished this stunning debut novel and I'm left with so many feelings. When I started reading this, I really didn't have much knowledge about this period in Korean history. So the fact that I was immediately immersed in the atmosphere and the culture and its people is quite amazing.
Part of its success has to do with Hur's exquisite prose, which makes it so easy to imagine the atmosphere, and feel as if you're standing right there with the characters. The other part is how the main charac I just finished this stunning debut novel and I'm left with so many feelings. The other part is how the main characters are fleshed out with so many nuances that they feel wholly three dimensional—especially the main character Seol, who is so strong and brave but also so fearful and damaged.
She is one of the best protagonists I've read in a long time. Jan 10, Liz Lawson rated it it was amazing. This book is phenomenal. It's a well-paced, well-plotted mystery, but it's also so much more than that. It's an exploration on family, about what loyalty means, and is just gorgeously written.
I felt like I was in 's Korea, traveling alongside Seol. I could not recommend this book more highly -- I'm so excited for it to get into the world and for other people to have the opportunity to read it. An absolutely stunning debut. Oct 01, Becca rated it it was amazing. Every detail feels true. You're in another time entirely. This book is a master class in atmosphere. Seol is an amazing protagonist. And she twists that to her advantage. I LOVED watching this fierce girl who everyone kept underestimating unravel the mystery right under their noses haha, book joke.
This book also expertly explores the way people can surprise or disappoint us when we cling to our own internal, romanticized image of them. When our shining, nostalgia-wrapped image is confronted with reality—and we realize that even the people we love have an ugly side. I'm still thinking about it weeks later.
You'll want this in Trust me. Aug 23, Fallon DeMornay rated it it was amazing. June has created a work of art with this breathtaking debut. She looked at her arms, the source of her agony.
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The sleeves of her dress were sliced, hanging by threads and soaked in blood. She was hardly unique. There are no aid groups out in the countryside. The police run away from attacks. She was discovered by soldiers patrolling the village almost two days later, she told me. They drove her to the nearest medical center. There are no easy explanations for the carnage in Djugu nor for the sudden cessation of massacres in mid-March, although violence — crop destruction, kidnappings, and killings — continues on a lesser scale.
Though they lack concrete evidence, many Congolese posit that President Joseph Kabila, whose legal mandate expired two years ago, or his allies, orchestrated the attacks in an effort to destabilize Ituri as a pretext to postpone national elections that are scheduled for this December. The motives behind the violence remain murky, but the sheer brutality was clear.
Photographs of the dead show heads cleaved almost in half or hacked off completely. Skulls were shattered, genitals amputated. Corpses were so grotesquely mutilated that they disorient the mind. I traveled between hospitals and medical centers and IDP camps, speaking with the injured and the traumatized. I met toddlers whose faces were split by machetes. There was the elderly woman with the shattered arm who had been shot in the face with an arrow.
The little girl whose head the attackers tried to hack off. The year-old who lost a hand. The man missing a chunk of his calf, which he said the militiamen tried to force him to eat. I met several other men who lay in hospital beds, glassy-eyed with fixed expressions, and swaddled in blood-stained bandages, their frames curled up as much as their injuries would allow, as if their entire bodies were wincing.
They looked like they expected to be struck at any moment. Women were reportedly gang-raped during the attacks or sexually assaulted while fleeing. Ten percent of Congolese child refugees in Uganda said they were raped during their journey, according to an assessment by Save the Children. Clinics and medical centers lacked the drugs to treat patients and even the printed forms needed to transport them to hospitals that might. Refugees found themselves not just homeless but hungry and lacking sufficient supplies of water.
Camps for internally displaced persons IDPs were short of food. Mothers with young children crammed into overcrowded group tents or slept outdoors for weeks at a time. Those outside the camps fared even worse and were forced to rely on the kindness of family or strangers. Jesinne Dhewedza sits almost catatonic most of the time, murmuring just a few words now and again. Irene Mave goes through bouts of silence, too. They all require regular care for their wounds, not to mention the basic necessities of life.
Neither is assured. Sister Angele, who runs the health center, says her team is doing their best but admits the staff is overwhelmed, with about 9, IDPs now living in a camp down the road. There are no services. There is no assistance. There is no money. Murder and famine, disease and displacement took a heavy toll. Forty armed groups operated in eastern Congo alone, and more than 5 million people died of direct violence or its fallout — hunger, starvation, illness. In Ituri, disputes between Hema pastoralists and Lendu farmers became enmeshed in the web of local, national, and regional conflict.
Between and , an estimated 55, people were killed in the province and , were forced to flee their homes.
Today, on a planet awash with conflict and displacement — There is no shortage of violence and unrest in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Tanganyika, in the Kasai region and even the capital, Kinshasa, where anti-government protests have been brutally suppressed.
The , people who fled Ituri this past spring joined 6.
More than 2 million Congolese fled their homes last year alone, close to three times the number of Rohingya made homeless by an ethnic cleansing campaign in Myanmar. In , there were 13 million Congolese in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, the same number as in Syria. Ituri is no longer the bloodiest corner of Congo, but the violence there in recent months was as severe and merciless as the slaughters at the turn of the 20th century, the 21st century, and almost anytime or anywhere in the world.
The UN puts that number as high as Again and again, Hema refugees and IDPs from Ituri told me even though bad blood may have lingered from past conflicts with the Lendu, both communities had spent the last decade living side by side in relative peace, sharing the same marketplaces and intermarrying. For about six months, tensions rose and rumors of impending violence spread, but they were still shocked when neighbors became murderers overnight. This has been imposed on us by an invisible hand.
Bamaraki likewise raised the specter of unseen forces. This is well-organized disorder. Dozens of witnesses told me they watched local police and soldiers armed with assault rifles run from attackers wielding only machetes and bows and arrows. Cowardice, he said, was punishable by 20 years in prison. Even then, according to a United Nations report, Congolese security forces intervened in only 10 of 70 reported attacks in Ituri between February and mid-March. News of the massacres spread quickly as survivors streamed out of the countryside. Throughout February, he sat at home in Bunia, the provincial capital, agonizing over the situation.
Whole villages were burned to the ground, whole families slaughtered — just dozens of miles away — and yet officials in Kinshasa, the governor of Ituri, and the security forces seemed to be doing little or nothing. In a fit of rage, he started typing up letters, an S. Bedidjo sent each by courier to the offices of officials he believed could save the people of Djugu. His letters were even covered by local media. Warning of humanitarian catastrophe and the possibility of famine, he implored the mission to act.
Killings, the burning of homes, pillaging and the massive displacement of people, those are the macabre everyday spectacles. Fewer civilians, they discovered, were killed in areas protected by U. Afterward, Haley hailed the cuts as a harbinger of what to expect from the new administration.
David Gressly, the U. In the wake of the massacres, U. In August , the administration announced plans to eliminate the position of the U. The administration even aimed to slash funding for the State Department and the U. In DRC, aid dollars tell the story. Ten years ago, when the Humanitarian Response Plan for Congo was funded at 83 percent of the request, the United States was, by far, the top donor. At an April international fundraising conference, in the wake of the Ituri massacres, the U.
By the beginning of this year, inadequate donations meant deepening disaster. Jean-Philippe Chauzy, the head of the U.
In the end, DRC boycotted its own aid conference in April. Most of the attendees might as well have, too. By late last month, the Democratic Republic of Congo held the dubious distinction of being one of the five least-funded humanitarian response plans of , far behind crisis zones like Yemen and Iraq. Hundreds of exiles were soon living in makeshift hovels built on top of each other. By late May, 10, people shared that postage stamp—sized plot of land. He was constantly on the cusp of running out of food.
That was in February, when camp residents could still count on eating two meals a day. By April, they were receiving only one — if that. By then, another IDP camp had opened across town and the number of displaced persons registered in Bunia stood at , They become stranded. They lose their way. Some never make it. On February 11, four refugees drowned attempting the trip across the lake.
A local official, who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity, said that three of the dead were children, ages 3, 9, and Then came the outbreak. On February 15, an elderly man was vomiting and suffering fever and acute watery diarrhea when he arrived at Sebagoro. That same day, two children under the age of 5, suffering the same symptoms, died at a refugee camp in Kyangwali. By the end of March, 2, cholera cases were reported at Kyangwali and at another refugee camp at Kyaka.
An additional 76, people at Kyangwali, alone, were soon at risk of contracting the disease. But for weeks the amount of drinking water available proved insufficient to supply refugees even at emergency levels. In March, a nutrition screening of 1, younger children at Maratatu by Medical Teams International MTI , an Oregon-based international aid organization, found children were malnourished beyond emergency standards.
The rolling grasslands of the sprawling Maratatu settlement appeared dotted with thousands of tiny igloos. Their father had died years ago, and their mother just weeks earlier when their village of Tara was attacked by Lendu militiamen. Without these, how can we lead a good life?