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Posted September 9, 2013
Full disclosure: I helped Leslie with this book by sitting with her a couple of times and relating my experiences working for the US Embassy in Iraq from May 2004-May 2005. However, I had no idea how powerful and engaging her book would turn out. Leslie nails her descriptions and I can taste, feel, hear and smell the occupation and the war, so much that I had to put the book down for a few days and then return to it and read small excerpts at a time. Her writing is gifted and moving, there is a graceful structure and simplicity to its flow. The story is credible, plausible and possible. The book accurately conveys Iraq under occupation, the currents of resentment and grievance that fueled the insurgency, the hubris and incompetence that guided the occupation, and the horror and tragedy that befell, and continues to befall, countless millions of innocents. Beautiful and haunting, my sincerest appreciation to Leslie for capturing and conveying in a novel what haunts so many of my memories. Matthew Hoh, Raleigh, NC
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