As a good friend of the real Ti-Anna, from the moment I heard that Hiatt was writing a novel inspired by her real-life story, I couldn’t wait to read it. Yesterday she lent me her copy and I ran home and finished it from front to back in less than 3hours. I couldn’t put it down. I read a lot of books and never once have I finished any of them in one sitting, until now that is.
From the moment the book began, I was enthralled. Hiatt’s writing style is fast-paced and he doesn’t beat around the bush, but this is great because it sweeps the reader along on the adventure, never lingering long enough to lose the intense burst of adrenaline that is catalysed in the reader due to this thrilling story. And for a novel that is covering such serious topics as human rights (or lack of) and human trafficking, Hiatt still manages to create a lighthearted undertone thanks to Ethan’s witty narration and his doting on Ti-Anna.
Hiatt also captures the epitome of both Hong Kong and Hanoi, and as someone who has traveled to both, I felt like I’d just been catapulted straight back into the hustle and bustle of those glittering cities, hanging out alongside Ti-Anna and Ethan as they delved deeper and deeper into the mysterious, and sometimes terrifying adventure that this book encompasses.
Afterwards I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Not just because I know the real Ti-Anna, but also because this novel is based on a true story. Thus, I can only hope that this book receives the recognition it truly deserves, in return bringing about awareness of the ordeal Ti-Anna’s father is still suffering from. Who knows what might arise from it?
p.s Part 2 anyone? I sure hope so!
I can’t recommend this book enough. You can buy it on Amazon here and read more about my friend Ti-Anna and her father Wang Bingzhang in an article she had published in The Washington Post back in 2009 here. Actually, it was from writing this article that she came to meet Fred Hiatt, which is precisely why we have Nine Days. It’s quite amazing really, you never quite know who’s going to be touched or inspired by your true-life story, or what might spiral from it.
Please also take a moment to sign this petition regarding Ti-Anna’s father’s situation. It’ll just take a second and the more we support this case, the more likely it is that we can make a difference.
Hands down to Ti-Anna for being such a brave individual and not giving up on her quest to help release her father, and in return thank you to Fred Hiatt for writing this book, ensuring that Ti-Anna and her family and friends have international support and strength.
The world needs to know about this atrocious case of taking away one man’s freedom, a man who merely stood up for what he believed in, a man who just wanted the best for his country.
So, read Nine Days. It’s intense, it’s real, but most importantly- it’s one step in the right direction.