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The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee
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The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee | amisaliwywav.tk
Chang-rae Lee, the bestselling and award-winning author of Native Speaker, A Gesture Life , and Aloft returns with his most ambitious novel yet-a spellbinding story of how love and war echo through an entire lifetime. June Han was orphaned as a girl by the Korean War. Hector Brennan was a young GI who fled the petty tragedies of his small town to serve his country.
When the war ended, their lives collided at a Korean orphanage, where they vied for the attention of Sylvie Tanner, a beautiful yet deeply damaged missionary.
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As Lee masterfully unfurls the stunning story of June, Hector, and Sylvie, he weaves a profound meditation on the nature of heroism and sacrifice, the power of love, and the possibilities for mercy, salvation, and surrendering oneself to another. Read an essay by Chang-rae Lee here.
Book review: 'The Surrendered' by Chang-rae Lee
The bestselling, award-winning writer of Native Speaker, A Gesture Life , and Aloft returns with his biggest, most ambitious novel yet: With his three critically acclaimed novels, Chang-rae Lee has established himself as one of the most talented writers of contemporary literary fiction. It is a brilliant, haunting, heartbreaking story about how love and war inalterably change the lives of those they touch. June Han was only a girl when the Korean War left her orphaned; Hector Brennan was a young GI who fled the petty tragedies of his small town to serve his country.
When the war ended, their lives collided at a Korean orphanage where they vied for the attentions of Sylvie Tanner, the beautiful yet deeply damaged missionary wife whose elusive love seemed to transform everything. Thirty years later and on the other side of the world, June and Hector are reunited in a plot that will force them to come to terms with the mysterious secrets of their past, and the shocking acts of love and violence that bind them together.
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As Lee unfurls the stunning story of June, Hector, and Sylvie, he weaves a profound meditation on the nature of heroism and sacrifice, the power of love, and the possibilities for mercy, salvation, and surrendering oneself to another. Hector Brennan, an American soldier turned sad-sack janitor; and Sylvie Tanner, the lovely but damaged object of both June's and Hector's affections.
These three wayfarers' journeys first overlap in , just after the end of the war, in a makeshift orphanage in the South Korean countryside not far from Seoul.
Here, something Hector, whose movie-star looks mask a despairing aimlessness, has taken a job as a handyman after the U. June, who lands at the orphanage at the same time, is a teenage refugee who fled south during the war, having lost her entire family in a series of cruel deaths and disappearances.
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Sylvie, the wife of the American missionary who runs the orphanage, forms a particular bond with June, having suffered her own share of girlhood trauma when her aid-worker parents met horrific fates in wartime Manchuria in The action swerves back and forth among s China, s Korea and New York City in , when June, battling stomach cancer at age 47, is shuttering her successful Manhattan antiques shop and preparing for yet another journey. With her illness closing in on her, June plans to fly to Italy for a final reunion with her son, Nicholas, whom she raised alone while stoically building her business.
Nicholas departed hastily for Europe after his high school graduation eight years ago and has been only sketchily in contact since. For thorny reasons, before June leaves she must enlist the help of Hector, whom she hasn't seen in decades and who is currently trudging through a booze-soaked half-life as a janitor in a rundown New Jersey mall. Hector's long-ago relationship with June was, to say the least, complex: