Ok, of all the books I've read this year, this is the one you just HAVE to read. I can't believe I'm gushing so much about a non-fiction book, which is normally not my forte. But this book is absolutely wonderful.
This is a true story, a memoir that Andrew Pham wrote from stories his father told him of his early life in Vietnam. You've seen all the Vietnam movies, you have your American idea of what "Vietnam" is, right? Well, now you can read about 'Vietnam' from the perspective of someone who grew up there, from someone who doesn't necessarily think with a French or American brain.
Pham's father was one of the rich gentry class in Vietnam. And then the French came. And then the Americans came...wars, wars, wars. And the things they lived through. You just can't imagine it. This is the book that will change what you think of Vietnam from "hellhole" to something vastly different.
My only complaint is that the chapters alternate between his youth in the North and the later years in the South -- this would not have been a problem had I been reading the book and could have easily flipped back to see where we had left off before....but I read it on the Kindle, where it's harder to do that. If you're reading the paper version, it shouldn't be a problem.
I loved, loved, loved this book. We'll see what happens, but it'll definitely be in the running for my favorite book of the year.