Things We Lost to the Water: A novel
Things We Lost To the Water is a powerfully written immigrant and refugee story spanning over two decades. Pregnant and alone during the Vietnam War, Huong decides to get in a boat. She flees Vietnam with her eldest child, Tuan, and without her husband, Cong. Huong, Tuan, and Binh (the newborn baby) resettle in New Orleans after they arrive in America. Life in New Orleans proves difficult, but the three grapple with adjustment, moving on, and life in America in completely different ways.
This is a compelling and poignant debut novel for Eric Nguyen. Told in the backdrop of the bayou, this is a heartbreaking tale of family, loss, identity, and survival. As a child of refugees, I can relate to Tuan trying to stay connected to Vietnam and to Binh, who goes by Ben, trying to assimilate to the US. It is a constant struggle to find that balance, and you feel torn and guilty from both sides pulling at you. This is an achingly beautiful Vietnamese migration story, one you don’t hear about often. A highly recommended read!
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