This is less a ‘review’ (though I feel very uncomfortable saying I review books so please know I use the term loosely) and more of a sigh or a clutch to the heart. Or maybe just a come-here-listen because I only want to say what a beautiful book this is.
I’d copy every line, give it to you here, so you could have it too. But I can’t. And, I don’t know, to give you just a few lines… How could I choose?
I’ll give you this anecdote instead.
I was fortunate to hear Tara Weikum, the editor of this book, speak at a conference earlier this year. She claimed to not like historical fiction or novels in verse. She was not looking for a book about war or about a refugee experience. This novel came across her desk and she did not want to read it.
It took just a few lines for her to fall in love. She had to convince a team of people to publish it. She did. And here we are.
I like that kind of story. I like that we were given Thanhha Lai‘s story against all odds.