I love serendipitous books, as I’ve mentioned before — those unexpected discoveries you’d never pick up unless you saw them on a library display or heard someone recommend them. Or were in an online book club where people suggest books they’ve liked, as was the case with Incident at Badamya. I wouldn’t have come across this book otherwise, but I’m glad I did.
It’s a very short and easy read about an American teenager in Burma in the turbulent years after World War Two. When Gen’s father, a former missionary, dies, she tries to leave the country to go to the United States, as her father wanted her to do. But along the way she is captured by insurgents and becomes part of a group of American and European hostages.
Resourceful Gen is determined to escape, but what gives the novel its interest is the relationships she forges with her fellow hostages. Each member of the small group is inclined at first to judge the others harshly on outward appearance, but as they survive their ordeal together, each person goes through important changes and learns something about the others as well as something about themselves. This is a thoughtful, insightful little book with a tight enough plot to keep the pages turning, and a haunting little twist at the end. I liked it very much.