Book Review: Laut Bercerita

Title: Laut Bercerita
Author: Leila S. Chudori
Publisher: KPG (Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia)
First Print, October 2017
379 pages

Ketidaktahuan dan ketidakpastian kadang-kadang jauh lebih membunuh dibanding pembunuhan.

Laut Bercerita tells about a college student named, Biru Laut. Some people perhaps were born to live in their idealism. They want to do something for the country, they want to have an ideal government who care about its people, while the government itself is not that friendly in receiving the critics. It happened during Suharto's era. The New Order was considered as a dictator. Violating the human rights, unfairness in politics and economics, etc. Until we heard that 23 persons were kidnapped on May 1998 and up until now there are still 13 of them that have no news yet. 

Laut Bercerita took place during 1991 until 1998. The book tells about the loss felt by the families and friends of their beloved persons. There is also betrayal and a very sadistic torture by those for whom power is more valuable than lives. 

There are parents who always put one extra plate during their family lunch just because they hope their beloved one will suddenly come and visit the house. This kidnapping mostly changed the lives of the family and friends. Reading this book really needs a strong heart since the story felt so real (yes, it's based on true events) and some of these missing people are still gone and to date government also seems not to do any significant efforts to reveal the case.

One of the lines in the book that broke my heart:

Begitu hujan mulai membasahi Tanah Kusir, aku merasa para penghuni makam terbangun dan membunyikan serunai. Mereka menghibur kami, orang-orang yang tak memiliki makam orang-orang tercinta.

The author, Leila S. Chudori, a senior journalist, said that this book was inspired by her friend's story, Nezar Patria, who was kidnapped with other 20 persons due to their activities considered as a threat for Suharto's government. Nezar and some of his friends were released however there are still many of them that have no news at all up until now. The families and friends left are living with endless pain for the rest of their lives. Their lives will never be the same again.

One of the best Indonesian books in 2017. A must read to learn about Indonesian history.