My Vietnam, Your Vietnam: A Father Flees, a Daughter Returns; A Dual Memoir

Three Rooms. Apr. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781953103468. pap. $18. MEMOIR
Nghia (The Vietnamese Boat People) fled his home country of Vietnam after the communist takeover in 1975. Decades later, his daughter Christina (The Veil Between Two Worlds) returned to Vietnam to live as a member of the Vietnamese diaspora. The chapters alternate between each of their perspectives as they go on their journeys. The father’s chapters cover his childhood, with vivid descriptions of life in Vietnam, his time in the Vietnamese military, and his escape from his country after the fall of Saigon. He also details his life as a refugee in the United States as he revived his career as a doctor. His memories of his homeland are nostalgic, and he has strong opinions about culture and politics. Christina’s chapters cover her time in Hanoi and Saigon as she attempted to find meaning in her own life. She was raised in the United States, found it difficult to adapt to life in Vietnam, and felt frustrated because she couldn’t connect with her father in the way she’d like, despite their shared interest in Vietnam.
VERDICT A father-daughter memoir that highlights the complex nature of memory and perspective. Recommended for readers interested in personal narratives of connection.
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