A young woman journeys from Vietnam to New York and back, searching for a sense of stability, in “a poignant tale of loneliness and love”****(Booklist).
As a child, isolated from the world in a secretive military encampment with her distant mother, she turns for affection to a sympathetic soldier and to the only other girl in the camp, forming two friendships that will shape the rest of her life.
As a young adult in New York, cut off from her native country and haunted by the scars of her youth, she is still in search of a home. She falls in love with a married woman who is the image of her childhood friend, and follows strangers because they remind her of her soldier. When tragedy arises, she must return to Vietnam to confront the memories of her youth—and recover her identity.
An inspiring meditation on love, loss, and the presence of a past that never dies, this novel explores the ancient question: do we value the people in our lives because of who they are, or because of what we need them to be?
“Haunting and harrowing.” —Foreword Reviews (starred review)
“An engrossing tale of a Vietnamese woman without a country.” —International Examiner
“Poignantly conjures the difficulties of reconciling the present with ‘an ungraspable history’.” —The New Yorker