Thursday, May 02, 2019

Where Is Your Bookmark? (A Peek Into How We Disappeared)

I am about to start reading How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee for an upcoming book tour later this month. I knew I had to read this book the moment I first heard about it. Will it be a heart-wrenching book? Absolutely.

Singapore, 1942. As Japanese troops sweep down Malaysia and into Singapore, a village is ransacked, leaving only two survivors and one tiny child.
In a neighboring village, seventeen-year-old Wang Di is strapped into the back of a troop carrier and shipped off to a Japanese military brothel where she is forced into sexual slavery as a “comfort woman.” After sixty years of silence, what she saw and experienced still haunts her.
In the year 2000, twelve-year-old Kevin is sitting beside his ailing grandmother when he overhears a mumbled confession. He sets out to discover the truth, wherever it might lead, setting in motion a chain of events he never could have foreseen.
Weaving together two time lines and two very big secrets, this stunning debut opens a window on a little-known period of history, revealing the strength and bravery shown by numerous women in the face of terrible cruelty. Drawing in part on her family’s experiences, Jing-Jing Lee has crafted a profoundly moving, unforgettable novel about human resilience, the bonds of family and the courage it takes to confront the past.[Goodreads Summary]

A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. Hosted by the wonderful Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader.
She began in the first month of the lunar year. They said she was born at night, the worst time to arrive--used up all the oil in the lamp so that her father had to go next door for candles. It took hours, and it was only after muddying up swaths of motheaten sheets the neighbors had given in the last few weeks of her mother's pregnancy that she emerged.As her first wails cracked through the hot air in the attap hut, he went into the bedroom to look at her, a worm of a thing, freshly pulled out of the earth. When he saw the gap between the baby's legs, the first-time father spat, then slumped in a chair at the kitchen table, eyeing his wife as she nursed, already thinking about the next child. 
My thoughts: I am already in love with the writing, drawn in by the descriptions. I feel for that little girl as clearly her father would have preferred a boy.


A weekly meme in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading. Hosted by the wonderful Freda of Freda's Voice.
"The men we see every day, they do their soldier's duty, their shouting and killing, glorifying our country and saving others, like yours from the white man's rule. Back home, they celebrate what their sons and fathers are doing. Even the dead go back heroes. But the women?" Here, her face turned bitter. A warped mask. "I did my duty for awhile, back home. just like you're doing. I did it until I got the chance to leave. Help set up a place to provide some comfort to the soldiers. It drives a man wild, do you know, being so far away from home like this . . ."  [excerpt from 56% of an uncorrected proof]

My thoughts: At what cost to the women?


Does this sound like something you would like to read?


 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!

© 2019, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

25 comments:

  1. It sounds horrific and a real heart-wrenching book! And painful to read I would imagine.

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    1. Margaret - I am not too far in, but I imagine this will not be an easy read. Worthwhile though. Thank you for visiting!

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  2. Not sure it is for me but it does sound like an epic story. I hope you love it. Happy weekend!

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    1. Freda - It does sound like a novel I will not soon forget! I hope you are having a good weekend too. Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. I've read a little about Singapore and the Japanese occupation so I know this might be a difficult, but worthwhile read. And I love the cover.

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    1. Jenclair - I really like the cover too. I have read only a little about that time period in Singapore before, but I know it is quite dark. I am looking forward to reading this one more. Thank you for visiting!

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  4. This book sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “I KNOW WHO YOU ARE”

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    1. Laurel-Rain - It is so far! Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. Loving that cover though I can't say this is a book that particularly appeals to me otherwise.

    A few chapters into my latest book club read, The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas, I'm struggling already.

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    1. Tracy - The Kate Mascarenhas book sounds interesting. I hope it gets better for you! Thank you for visiting, Tracy.

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  6. That book does sound heartbreaking but I feel certain I would like it.

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    1. Kathy - I think so too! Heartbreaking, but a worthwhile read. Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. Sounds intriguing but nothing I'd choose to read. I hope you are enjoying it. This week I am spotlighting Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - I am liking it so far--but oh so sad. I don't mind though. Thank you for visiting!

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  8. This does sound like a book I'd want to read.

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  9. How We Disappeared sounds like a heartrending read but it has history written all over it so I think it's a worthwhile read; plus it's set in Singapore and the more I should check it out.

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    1. Melody - Yes, an important part of history that deserves a voice, even if through fiction. Given where you live, I would be especially curious to know what you think of this one. Thank you for visiting, Melody!

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  10. Ooooh, this sounds great! I'm from Singapore and it's pretty rare to find books set in my country (if it's not local fiction) so I'm definitely interested in checking this out!

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    1. Eustacia - I will be sure and let you know what I think. I imagine the history is more well known to you than it is to me. I'd be interested to know what you think! Thank you for stopping by!

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  11. It sounds like a fascinating and painful read. I hope you will like it.

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    1. Bea - It is good so far! I hope I will continue to like it as well. Thank you for visiting!

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  12. Wendy, my boyfriend is in love and obsessed with Japan! Through his interest, I've been learning more about the country, including that time period :( I was able to share a bit in the recent era change: REIWA :) It basically means "beautiful harmony." The book looks like it'll be a really good read! As for me, I'm also reading a WWII book, though a middle grade. LOVing it: THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley.

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  13. I don't think I have heard of this one before but it sounds like it is going to be an emotional read! I hope it's a great read!

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  14. Love that cover design. Happy reading!

    Lauren @ Always Me

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