Gunfire Lullabies (Paperback)
Gunfire Lullabies-written by former diplomat, political advisor and press secretary, Nore Hoogstad-is a riveting and gut-wrenching account of two women caught in a war inspired by real life events.
Jakarta, 1998. Junior Australian diplomat Ava Vuyk is on her first overseas posting when she's assigned the conflict-ridden issue of East Timor with its long independence struggle. The new Indonesian regime announces a vote in which the East Timorese will choose their future, but the military and local militia oppose it, launching a brutal campaign of terror and destruction. Amid the turmoil, her collapsing marriage and the hint of new love, Ava must decide whether she'll gloss over the spiralling violence as her domineering ambassador demands, or report the truth in the hope the Australian government will intervene.
In East Timor, teenage farmer Isabel is kidnapped by militia leader Gabriel as his sex slave after her brother evades joining his militia group. Alone but hopeful, she waits to be rescued. When a human rights group asks her to spy on Gabriel, she's seduced by the promise of being reunited with her family.
"Highly recommended. Nore guides us through the conflict in East Timor, and a clash between official duties in service of the state, versus human convictions and emotions. Each of us has a choice to make, whether to fulfil our contractual duty or our higher moral one - the dictates of the state versus those of the soul." -J. Ramos-Horta, President of Timor-Leste, 2007-2012.