Conquered is a passionate love story, as much about its main characters, Guam native Jesi Taimanglo and American GI Johan Landers, as it is about author Paula Quinene’s passion for Guam itself. As her characters try to find a place for themselves amid the war, Jesi’s relatives, and the Chamorro traditions, Quinene charts a path through a seldom told story: Guam’s place in WWII. An original idea written with an original voice that invites readers in to the exotic world of the Pacific, complete with coconut trees, banana doughnuts, dolphins swimming in the ocean, and moonlight on Pago Bay, Conquered also recounts the brutal horrors of the Japanese occupation on Guam, a US territory largely forgotten back in the States. In addition to learning about a singular and little-known culture that has played a part in the world wars of the Pacific, readers will undoubtedly crave the recipe for banana doughnuts.
—Stacey Donovan, Writer, Editor, and Author of Dive
Somewhere in chapter 3
“Drink,” she said.
Johan closed his eyes and took a sip. Then a gulp. Coolness spread through his body. She’s nice. It was the most delicious thing he’d put on his tongue. Refreshing. The girl held the cup for him until he finished.
The girl nodded.
She set the cup aside and stepped away to pick up the coconut and machete again. Keeping her left hand out of the way, the girl held the machete in her right hand, centered it on the coconut, and hit the coconut in the middle. It split in half. She brought the coconut to him. Using the skin that was between her teeth, she scooped the coconut flesh and fed him.
Johan savored the soft meat. It wasn’t as sweet as the stuff his granny used to sprinkle on cake. But it was really good.
The girl was about five feet and a couple inches, and it looked as if she could use something to eat, though she wasn’t as thin as the other refugees he’d seen. She wasn’t trembling anymore. When she finished, she set aside the spent coconut and cardboard.
“Thank you, Miss. My name is Johan. What’s your name?”
She narrowed her eyes at him for a moment.
“Jesi, my name is Jesi.”
Her voice was pleasant. He was exhausted. What is it about her eyes? She stood up, startling him, and walked deeper into the cave.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Paula Quinene was born and raised on Guam. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 1997 with a bachelor’s of science in Exercise & Movement Science, hoping to return to the island as an anatomy teacher. A resident of North Carolina since 2000, Paula’s homesickness – or “mahalangness” – has motivated Paula to write A Taste of Guam, Remember Guam, both cookbooks, and her first novel, Conquered. Paula’s home on the web is www.paulaq.com.
Book’s blog: http://guamromancenovel.blogspot.com/
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