How We Disappeared

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A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel set in World War II Singapore about a woman who survived the Japanese occupation and a man who thought he had lost everything—for fans of Min Jin Lee's Pachinko and Georgia Hunter's We Were the Lucky Ones.

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 forseeen.  Weaving together two timelines 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.