It’s Remembrance Day this week and if you’re a fan of historical fiction that delves into the depths of human experience, you won’t want to miss Anne Lazurko’s novel, What Is Written on the Tongue. Shortlisted for its exceptional writing, meticulous research, and ambitious narrative transitions, this book takes you on a captivating journey through the tumultuous times of the mid-20th century. https://annelazurko.com/
The story centers around Sam, a 20-year-old who, after surviving the horrors of Nazi forced labor during World War II, finds himself thrust into another harrowing situation. Drafted and sent to the island of Java as part of the Dutch military, Sam must grapple with the complexities of war and human morality. As he arrives in Java, he quickly realizes that the Indonesian independence movement is far ahead of the Dutch, plunging him into a guerilla war where his loyalties are tested.
Sam’s inner turmoil intensifies as he finds himself in a moral quagmire when his squad commits atrocities reminiscent of the horrors he experienced at the hands of the Nazis. Against this backdrop of violence and chaos, he falls in love with both Sari and the stunning Indonesian landscape. But as he loses friends to sniper fire and jungle maladies, he begins to lose sight of his ultimate goal – to be a good man.
Anne Lazurko’s writing is nothing short of remarkable. Her ability to disperse the fog of war and shed light on Sam’s personal reckoning is both deft and deeply moving. The novel captures the essential vulnerability of the human body, the healing power of love and friendship, and the life-affirming beauty of the natural world. At the same time, it offers a poignant commentary on the paradoxical nature of paradise amidst human destruction.
To give you some culinary insight into the author’s world, Anne provides us with her favourite Indonesian Nasi Goreng dish in our Recipe section – easy and versatile. You’ll want to add this to your weekday repertoire and fancy it up for special dinners.
The book’s narrative spans across multiple historical periods and locations, including The Netherlands, Germany, and Indonesia during and after World War II. This ambitious approach paints a vivid picture of the oppressive cycle, where the oppressed sometimes become oppressors. From the very first page, What Is Written on the Tongue hooks you with its gripping storytelling and holds your attention until the very last.
The praise for this novel doesn’t end here. Acclaimed authors Alissa York, Antanas Sileika, and Lawrence Hill have all heaped their acclaim upon Anne Lazurko’s work. Alissa York commends the novel for its powerful portrayal of one man’s struggle to confront both the external enemy and the internal demons. Antanas Sileika highlights the emotional journey of Sam, who transitions from a victim to a perpetrator and must grapple with the moral complexities that follow. Lawrence Hill underscores the ambitious and captivating nature of the story, emphasizing its enthralling portrayal of war, immorality, love, and family. High praise, indeed!
What Is Written on the Tongue is a masterfully crafted historical fiction novel that offers a gripping account of one man’s journey through the horrors of war and the path to redemption. Anne Lazurko’s writing is a testament to her dedication to diligent research and her skill in navigating the ambitious transitions between historical periods. This book is a must-read for those who seek a profound exploration of human nature in the face of adversity and conflict. You can order your copy of What Is Written on the Tongue at https://annelazurko.com/books/ or go to our Giveaway section and win your very own book. Don’t miss out on this captivating tale that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
Content and images used with permission by ECW Press. https://ecwpress.com/products/what-is-written-on-the-tongue