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The Boston Globe


Book Review

‘Thirty Girls’ by Susan Minot

In Uganda, early one morning in October 1996, 139 Catholic schoolgirls were kidnapped from their dorm at gunpoint by the Lord’s Resistance Army — Joseph Kony’s rebel group, famous for its child soldiers and brutalities such as cutting off the lips of those who betray them. A nun resolutely trails after them, managing to bargain for the release of 109, leaving 30 girls in slavery to Kony’s army.

“Thirty Girls,’’ the newest novel by Susan Minot — author of “Monkeys’’ and “Evening’’ — is inspired by this event and examines its impact on the girls’ lives. The book pulls you in from the first page, interweaving the narrative of Esther Akello (one of the kidnapped students struggling to survive) and Jane Wood (an American journalist who is definitely not struggling, at least not in the physical sense).

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