... urgent ... The atrocities in Our Bodies, Their Battlefields horrify, as they should. Lamb does society a service by forcing us to look ... [Lamb] provides one of the first exhaustive examinations of sexual violence as a deliberate weapon, used to inflict terror and humiliation. Her book is painful to read but should be required for everyone interested in military and global affairs ... She travels through Asia, Africa, Europe and South America to provide an intimate picture of what it’s like to be abused and forgotten ... Despite the barbarity, Lamb’s humane portraits of survivors kept my attention. I grew invested in the women and felt compelled to listen to their stories ... In the conclusion of her book, Lamb writes, 'Every time I walk past a war memorial I wonder why women’s names aren’t on it.' With Our Bodies, Their Battlefields, she provides a monument of sorts.
... deeply traumatic and important ... provides a corrective that is by turns horrific and profoundly moving ... Lamb is an extraordinary writer. Her compassion for those she talks to and deep understanding of how to tell their stories makes this a book that should be required reading for all – even though (and perhaps because) it is not an enjoyable experience ... This is a powerful book that not only underlines how women have been written out of history, but how victims of rape have had their suffering enabled, ignored and perpetuated.
... one of the most disturbing books I have read ... Meticulously researched and carefully written, Our Bodies Their Battlefield is almost unbearably difficult to read, which is exactly as it should be. Showing admirable patience and empathy, Lamb visits Yazidi women who were traded on internet forums and Nigerian mothers whose daughters were kidnapped by Boko Haram ... Many of these stories are enormously harrowing to read, and certainly too harrowing to repeat in detail ... Although Lamb’s book could scarcely be more powerful or more important, she admits that it tells only one side of the story.
With the MeToo movement and increased awareness around sexual violence and harassment of women, it is the right time for this book to be written ... it’s noticeable that Lamb lets interviewees speak for themselves. She includes pages of direct quotes during almost every story. In a book aimed at elevating the voices of women, it’s an effective and powerful touch. Many of the interviewees have long been isolated for years or decades because of what they went through, but they speak openly to her. The mass of testimonies feels like a display of strength.
At times, Lamb worries that she is being intrusive, but she is also careful not to be credulous. An experienced journalist, she can tell when something doesn’t smell right – one Rohingya woman in a camp in Bangladesh has a long story that doesn’t add up. In the age of #MeToo, the impetus is to believe women and on the whole, she – quite rightly – does, while never losing her journalistic rigour. The litany of pain she recounts is all too believeable. I know because I have heard it too ... silence is the women’s worst enemy, and that’s why, while some may be tempted to turn away from the horror, this is such an important book.
... should be essential reading. This retelling of some of the world’s worst wars highlights a dark seam of human history suppressed by shame, impunity and the unwillingness of so many even to listen to horrific accounts of systemic mass rape .... Rape is as old as armed conflict but Lamb’s account amounts to much more than simply 'bad things happen'. Her conclusion is clear: rape is a systematic weapon of war; this is not about individual abuses but deliberate military policy ... This is not pitch-black history, however – lights are shone by the courage of women and girls determined to speak out and confront their abusers ... This is a hard book to read. But, once you do, you will join a growing group of people who ask: 'How is this allowed to go on?'
... a deeply distressing book, and one that most people will likely struggle to get through. But persevere: it needs to be read as widely as possible ... Lamb is careful not to pigeonhole the women as victims, though. Instead, she explores their battles for justice ... not just an important documentation of the use of rape in times of war. It is also an urgent reality check for the media and how we approach victims of trauma.
Dizzying for its historical breadth and emotional strain, this book is nevertheless essential reading. Readers interested in human rights will stick through the highly readable but earth-rattling chapters for the sake of their larger purpose; namely, to give voice to people who have felt erased.
... superb ... Crisscrossing the globe to interview survivors, the author makes it abundantly clear that the devastating effects of rape transcend borders ... To tell some of these stories, Lamb clearly has put herself in peril, and it’s difficult to overpraise her courage or a book that—for the breadth and moral force of its arguments—is perhaps the most important work of nonfiction about rape since Susan Brownmiller’s Against Our Will (1975) ... A searing, absolutely necessary exposé of the uses of rape in recent wars and of global injustices to the survivors.