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Book Review of Vi by Kim Thuy

ViVi by Kim Thúy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to this relatively short audiobook (3 hours)and was absolutely riveted, but sometimes so sparked by the narrative that I would go off somewhere on my own reflections of the content and have to find my way back. I was never bored in three hours.

Nothing seemed gratuitous or contrived. As one reviewer commented, "it seemed so real".

"Vi" tells the story of a woman who leaves Vietnam with her children, taking a risky sea voyage without her husband because he appears to be "too lazy" to take the risky voyage with them.

Vi is the youngest child, and only daughter in the large sibline. Her mother is a strong and wise, competent woman, but a kind of reluctant Matriarch (not really a feminist). Vi goes about 'breaking ground' for a different sort of life from what her mother would seem to envision for her, and to bust the traditions that wold prevent her from being in the kind of modern love relationship that is strangely like the Vietnamese version of Romeo and Juliet. 

But very little turns out to be what it appears to be.

While the author, Kim Thuy, crafts such beautiful descriptions of her life and culture as a Vietnamese person whose parents were NOT Viet-Cong, were against the Viet-Cong, and would not want their daughter to be with (let along marry) someone who has a Viet-Cong connection-- the crafting is so light and natural that I felt embarrassed that my own generations-long English is so heavy, clunky and awkward when I write or describe something.

And I have to say that the ending (no spoilers here) is a one-of-a-kind that had me thinking for an hour after the narration ended.

You can also get this audible book              
Vi - by Kim Thuy (read by the author)
as part of your 30-Day Audible Trial @Amazon

View all my reviews on Good Reads


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