The Gotta-Have-It Book of the Month: Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman
Something among them had caught his eye anew. He turned around and picked up Claire’s canteen. It had belonged to her stepbrother Dominic, who’d purchased it years ago from a camping and military surplus store. It was still snapped in its original, khaki-colored canvas case with “Property of the U.S. Army” stenciled on it in fading black letters.
Until that moment, I’d assumed the officer’s visit was mostly a formality, a bureaucratic ritual designed to impress and intimidate visitors. As he’d questioned us, I’d even started imagining how I was going to embellish this story later telling it to loved ones back home. It seemed obvious to me that Claire and I were innocents; what’s more, we were U.S. citizens with valid American passports – golden tickets, I’d presumed. What could the Chinese really, possibly do to a couple of red, white, and blue girls armed with nothing but backpacks, T-shirts, and good intentions?
Available: March 24, 2009