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This book was quite beautiful. It provided a window into a place and time that is generally viewed through the lens of stereotype. The story was interesting, but the characters were the strength of the story.
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This story is beautiful. Prose is both evocative and informative.
I strongly recommend reading this before traveling to Vietnam! Something for everyone: art, history, war stories, food, love and relationships...
I had intended to read it before leaving for Vietnam, but ended up starting it while I was there. Luckily, I started just in time to learn how to correctly eat Pho and impress the family hosting us. (several raised eyebrows and surprise!)
Based on conversations I had with our hosts and with our guides, students and other locals, I sensed that the way the Vietnamese people felt about Americans is accurately portrayed in this novel.
There were several points in this story that my eyes stung with tears, but the ending truly got me. I listen in the car, and the ending had me sobbing while I sat at a stop sign. Not because it was heartbreaking and sad, but because it was so perfect.
"Hung has his moments of wondering whether this is the afterlife or the present life. But then he asks himself: does it matter?"