Firstly I wish to thank Imogen Harris of Legend Press for inviting on the Blog Tour for DARKER CHAPTER by Winnie M Li
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.
On a bright spring afternoon in West Belfast, their paths collide during a horrifying act of violence.
In the aftermath, each is forced to confront the chain of events that led to the attack.
Inspired by true events, this is a story of the dark chapters and chance encounters that can irrevocably determine the shape of our lives.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
The title of this book is so very perfect and although to the reader it represent the very horrific and brutal facts of the story, for the author and assailant it is the dark chapters in their lives following the thirty minutes that they actual knew each other. It is a courageous story told by the author, herself the victim. The thing that I admire greatly about her is being able to not only tell her side of the story but also that of the young teenager that violated and raped her.
There is a back drop of both characters from when they were growing up, where their childhood years couldn’t have been more different. Vivian confidant, educated and in a successful career loved walking and exploring, at times, in more remote areas. Johnny was a travellers son, being dragged up, for lack of a better word, by his abusive father. His world was one of violence which he had witnessed between his father and mother. The stories from other lads about taking ‘what they wanted’ from girls as a right were regularly told to him. Then one day Johnny sees Vivian walking and both of their lives would be destroyed by what followed.
Winnie M Li, the author describes every frightening and terrifying action and thought that she experienced, her desperate pleas, her bargaining and quick thinking to ensure her survival. Then the thoughts of Johnny, how he sees the events, his right to do what he is doing and how he knows this is ‘what she wants too’. There was such an helplessness that I felt when I was reading this, a boy so damaged by how he was brought up actually thinking that this was normal, to the woman who I knew would never forget this day.
The court case that followed was just as horrific. The story though goes much further and describes how it affected the relationships of both Vivian and Johnny with their families and friends.
I truly admire this author that has had the courage to write about this terrible time in her life but the ability to look into the mind of this young man was remarkable. There is nothing tacky about this story, this is a detailed account of what happened. Truly courageous.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 debut novel, published in June 2017 by Legend Press, and is inspired by her own sexual assault in 2008. It takes the unique perspective of both the survivor and the perpetrator and explores how the assault effects the lives of both.