Sometimes one comes across a book that leads to sleepless nights… A book that grips and gnaws. You want to put it down and almost instantly, you pick it up again.
‘How We Disappeared’ by Jing-Jing Lee is one such book.
Set in Singapore of 1942, during World War II, the story unfolds through the voices of Wang Di, who was seventeen at the time of the Japanese invasion, and young Kevin, born two generations later.
Both carry the immense burden of secrets. Wang Di, of what she suffered at the hands of the Japanese and Kevin, who shares his room with his grandmother and is party to her disassociated nocturnal mumblings which he feels compelled to piece together. And we, the readers, want desperately to know how it all pans out.
While the subject of the book is dark, traumatic and heartbreaking, it is written with compassion. The story is meticulously researched and carries a kernel of hope in its dark and sordid centre.
Read it, because some voices need to be heard.