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Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 FIC LI Adult Fiction Book
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Montour Falls Memorial Library 1 FICTION New books
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Summary

Summary

NOMINATED FOR THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL Vivian is a cosmopolitan Taiwanese-American tourist who often escapes her busy life in London through adventure and travel. Johnny is a 15-year-old Irish teenager, living a neglected life on the margins of society. He has grown up in a family where crime is customary, violence is a necessity, and everything--and anyone--can be yours for the taking.
As Vivian looks to find her calling professionally, she delights in exploring foreign countries, rolling hillsides, and new cultures. And as a young, single woman, she has grown used to experiencing life on her own. But all of that changes when, on one bright spring afternoon in West Belfast, Vivian's path collides with Johnny and culminates in a horrifying act of violence.
In the aftermath of the incident, both Johnny and Vivian are forced to confront the chain of events that led to the attack. Vivian must struggle to recapture the woman that she was and the woman she aspired to be, while dealing with a culture and judicial system that treats assault victims as less than human. Johnny, meanwhile, flees to the sanctity of his transitory Irish clan. But when he is finally brought to reckon for his crimes, Vivian learns that justice is not always as swift or asfair as she would hope. Inspired by true events, DARK CHAPTER is both a literary masterpiece and a riveting novel of suspense about of the dark chapters and chance encounters that can irrevocably determine the shape of our lives.


Author Notes

Winnie M Li is a writer and producer, who has worked in the creative industries on three continents. A Harvard graduate, she has written for travel guide books, produced independent feature films, programmed for film festivals, and developed eco-tourism projects. After graduating with Distinction in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths (where she was shortlisted for the Pat Kavanagh Prize 2015), she now currently writes across a range of media (including a column for The Huffington Post), runs arts festivals, and is a PhD researcher in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics. She was Highly Commended for the CWA Debut Dagger 2015 and also shortlisted for the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize. She lives in London yet is somewhat addicted to travel. Dark Chapter is her first novel.Follow Winnie M. Li online at WinnieMLi.com or on Twitter at @winniemli.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Following official celebrations marking the anniversary of Northern Ireland's peace agreement, film producer Vivian Tan is finally free to finish her trip with a solo hike through the hills overlooking Belfast. The hike lives up to her guidebook's promises until Vivian's solitude is interrupted by a teenage boy's unrelenting efforts to befriend her. Vivian's annoyance gives way to fear as she realizes the boy is stalking her through the forest. Hours later, Vivian stumbles from the woods after enduring a brutal assault and rape at the hands of 15-year-old Irish Traveller Johnny Sweeney. In careful detail, Li chronicles Vivian and Johnny's experience with the justice system, Vivian's struggle with PTSD, and Johnny's confused efforts to reconcile unfamiliar feelings of guilt with the lack of empathy he's cultivated under his older brother's influence. Li captures Vivian and Johnny's opposing perspectives realistically, skillfully contrasting their similarities (both are from stereotyped, misunderstood cultures) and dramatic differences. This debut, based on true events, is a thoughtful, empathetic portrayal of the challenges rape victims face when seeking justice.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Taiwanese-American Vivian Tan, the heroine of Li's gripping debut, has moved to London to work as a film producer. While attending a conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, she embarks on a hike one afternoon in the city's Glen Forest Park. On a trail, Vivian encounters a teenage boy, Johnny Sweeney, who was born into poverty and squalor and grew up watching his father physically abuse his mother. At first, Johnny is friendly, but he later attacks Vivian, beating and raping her. After the assault, a distraught Vivian calls a friend, who contacts the local police, initiating a dehumanizing process that grinds on unremittingly right through to Johnny's trial. Back in London, suffering from PTSD and agoraphobia, Vivian takes leave from her job. Meanwhile, Johnny fails to take responsibility for his crime. The narration alternates between Vivian's and Johnny's points of view, though at times whose story is being told is unclear. Still, Li does a fine job exploring how one incident can change the course of a life in this astute psychological study. Agent: Maria Cardona, Pontas Literary & Film Agency (Spain). (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

DEBUT At 29, Taiwanese American Vivian has realized her goal of living in London and working as a television producer. She treats herself to a weekend in Ireland, pursuing her lifelong passion of hiking in the wilderness, most preferably alone. She has no way of knowing that this decision will lead her directly into the path of 15-year-old Johnny who, thanks to the coaching of his older brother, is constantly on the lookout for girls he'll be able to coax-or force, if need be-into sexual submission. Vivian's encounter with Johnny in a desolate West Belfast park lays the groundwork for years of emotional and legal turmoil. What is striking about this acclaimed first novel (highly recommended for the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger) is that not only is it based on an incident in the author's life, but the facility with which Li is able to intertwine the life stories of Vivian and Johnny, giving each substance and depth, sacrificing her own biases to create a clear sight line for the reader. VERDICT Li skillfully compels the reader to examine life stories that have converged through a nightmarish act of -violence.-Nancy -McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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