Owner of a Lonely Heart: A Memoir

S. & S. Audio. Jul. 2023. 5:27 hrs. ISBN 9781797158815. $17.99. MEMOIR
“I was ten years old when I learned that my mother had come to the United States as a refugee, too. I was 19 when I finally met her.” In this moving memoir, novelist and nonfiction author Nguyen (Stealing Buddha’s Dinner) examines her relationship with her mother and the maternal figures throughout her life, as well as how they have shaped her connection to her own children. Growing up as a Vietnamese refugee in 1980s Michigan, Nguyen experienced the United States’ “assimilationist acculturation” systems firsthand. If that stigma was not enough to make a child question who she is, she also had to navigate this situation entirely estranged from her birth mother. Narrated by the author, this audiobook infuses the story with reflective, relatable emotion. Though she does not possess the drama of a professional narrator, her reading is engaging and insightful, creating a candid, compelling listening experience.
VERDICT This audio will appeal to listeners seeking a lyrically told life story. Recommended for fans of family and relationship fiction and nonfiction, especially titles concerning refugees, racism, and reconciliation.
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