I first discovered this book on Kindle when a one chapter offering (Quiet As They Come) was made available for free. (Many of the reviewers gave a low rating due to a misunderstanding about this sample chapter being called a free book. This was Kindle’s marketing error and the author Angie Chou should not be penalized for the mistake.) I loved both the writing and the story. It touched me and I bought the full book. I’m glad I did. It’s now one of my favorites. The Kindle copy has a handful of errors but nothing to distract too much from the fine storytelling.
It is a collection of interlinked short stories (each of which stands well on its own) telling the tale of several Vietnamese families and their struggles and adaptations to the ‘new world’ lifestyles. These tales are both heartwarming and heart wrenching. Angie Chou did a brilliant job of showing her characters hopes and fears as they try to accept and live in America.
We follow several of the families and their experiences from childhood in the new world to their regrets of old traditions lost. Some weather the storm well, some just survive.The final story left me with a bit of an awkward sense but I understand why the author chose it for the ending.
It’s a good novel and I’m glad I read it.