RUN ME TO EARTH by Paul Yoon may be a little book but it has a BIG HEART! With poetic language Yoon depicts war on a human scale by exploring how wars effects people over time and place and how those effects can be immediate or take lifetimes to be fully revealed.
The story begins in Loas in the 1960s during the Vietnam War when the Communist Pathet Lao were in conflict with the USA backed Royal Lao Government. Centering on three orphans who assist at a makeshift hospital, we follow as their lives and fates diverge and intertwine over the decades after they are evacuated from the country. Yoon sets the tone for the story with a potent Author’s Note in which he states the fact that the USA and RLG dropped more than 580,000 bombs on Loas which equals one bombardment every 8 minutes, 24 hours a day, for 9 years straight. Let that fact sink in. That is the world that RUN ME TO EARTH begins in.
Yoon’s writing is poetic with no sensationalism. The relationships and events captured in the book are both beautiful and tragic. Though wonderfully written, the narrative jumps in time were sometimes difficult to follow. I found myself having to reread passages realizing I had missed important points or couldn’t tell what time period we were in.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have many holes in my knowledge and sadly I did not know about the atrocities faced by the people of Loas in the 1960s and 70s. RUN ME TO EARTH was compelling because it was not a history of this conflict, instead Yoon focuses our attention on the human tragedy of this war. The book depicts how people displaced and scarred (physically, mentally, emotionally) by war are effected over the course of their lifetimes.
** Simon and Schuster provided the book for honest review
- Title: Run Me To Earth
- Author: Paul Yoon
- Published: January 28, 2020 (Simon Schuster)
- Genre: Historical Fiction
- Booky Nooky Rating: * * * *