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Peeing My Pants With Book Anticipation – THE SURRENDERED – February 25, 2010

“It’s a harrowing tale: bleak, haunting, often heartbreaking — and not to be missed.” SOLD! To the redhead in the back. What is it about bleak, haunting, and heartbreaking that’s so appealing? Whatever it is, I buy those books in bulk. (I do know what draws me to these kinds of books, but that’s a long post for another day.)

The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (March 9, 2010)

“Starred Review. Lee’s masterful fourth novel (after Aloft) bursts with drama and human anguish as it documents the ravages and indelible effects of war. June Han is a starving 11-year-old refugee fleeing military combat during the Korean War when she is separated from her seven-year-old twin siblings. Eventually brought to an orphanage near Seoul by American soldier Hector Brennan, who is still reeling from his father’s death, June slowly recovers from her nightmarish experiences thanks to the loving attention of Sylvie Tanner, the wife of the orphanage’s minister. But Sylvie is irretrievably scarred as well, having witnessed her parents’ murder by Japanese soldiers in 1934 Manchuria. These traumas reverberate throughout the characters’ lives, determining the destructive relationship that arises between June, Hector and Sylvie as the plot rushes forward and back in time, encompassing graphic scenes of suffering, carnage and emotional wreckage. Powerful, deeply felt, compulsively readable and imbued with moral gravity, the novel does not peter out into easy redemption. It’s a harrowing tale: bleak, haunting, often heartbreaking—and not to be missed.”

| Tags: , , 14 comments »

14 Responses to “Peeing My Pants With Book Anticipation – THE SURRENDERED – February 25, 2010”

  1. Sandy

    I saw this in my latest Bookmarks mag, and everything about it grabbed me (pretty forcefully actually!). I’ll be interested in your theories on why we like to be bleakly haunted. I haven’t figured out the appeal, I just know my shelves are collapsing under the weight of this book type!


  2. bybee

    I want to read this because of the Korean connection. I felt meh about Native Speaker, but this one looks great!


  3. nomadreader

    I got this through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program, and I can’t wait to read it. It’s calling to me from the review pile!


  4. diane

    Me too, Me too!


  5. Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog

    Ooh, looks good. And you I ‘m right there with you in the “fans of bleak, haunting, and heartbreaking” club. Thanks for pointing this out—it wasn’t on my radar before.


  6. Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog

    Uh, that should be you *know* I’m right there with you. Clearly, I need more coffee.


  7. Steph

    Hey, Trish! BookPage has an interview with the author of The Surrendered (as well as in their March issue), so you may want to check that out since you’re so excited about this one!

    Here’s a link to the interview:


  8. Jen - Devourer of Books

    Oh, this does look very interesting, but I’m not quite sure I’m to the level of projectile vomiting in anticipation yet.


  9. Nicole

    I saw this and was little tempted but I have been reading so much dark stuff lately that I thought I couldn’t handle this right now. I am obviously looking for lighter things if I am reading and enjoying Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.


  10. Carrie K.

    I just added this to my to-read list after seeing it in Bookmarks. 🙂


  11. Jess - A Book Hoarder

    This sounds intense and I am adding it to my wishlist right now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


  12. zibilee

    Ok, you convinced me! This book goes right on the list. It sounds like it has a most interesting plot and I am all about those hefty, emotional reads. Thanks so much for spotlighting this book, I’ll be on the lookout for it!


  13. Novelwhore

    I couldn’t put this book down after the harrowing first chapter involving loss of limbs (not a spoiler, promise). This novel is definitely bleak, but I think the characters are far from broken. Since it’s finally on sale I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!!!

    To be fair though, pretty sure after I closed this book I picked up a Nora Roberts title, as I was in the mood for some lighthearted fun.


  14. jenn

    Wow. That blurb makes this book sound incredible. Can’t wait to see what you think of it. I have more than enough in my stack right now to keep me busy.


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