Hot Best Seller

The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood

Availability: Ready to download

A story of hope, a story of survival, and an incredible journey of escape, 'The Unwanted' is the only memoir by an Amerasian who stayed behind in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and who is now living in America. A story of hope, a story of survival, and an incredible journey of escape, 'The Unwanted' is the only memoir by an Amerasian who stayed behind in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and who is now living in America.


Compare

A story of hope, a story of survival, and an incredible journey of escape, 'The Unwanted' is the only memoir by an Amerasian who stayed behind in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and who is now living in America. A story of hope, a story of survival, and an incredible journey of escape, 'The Unwanted' is the only memoir by an Amerasian who stayed behind in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and who is now living in America.

30 review for The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Recently I got into a bit of the dreaded reading slump. You probably know what I'm talking about - where absolutely nothing seems interesting enough to keep your mind on the book. You search and search for one but even books you've been looking forward to reading have lost their appeal.  Last Friday I found myself plopped firmly down in that Valley of Lost Interest, that bleak and lonely place where readers everywhere fear spending time in.  OK, maybe that's a bit melodramatic. But if you've found Recently I got into a bit of the dreaded reading slump. You probably know what I'm talking about - where absolutely nothing seems interesting enough to keep your mind on the book. You search and search for one but even books you've been looking forward to reading have lost their appeal.  Last Friday I found myself plopped firmly down in that Valley of Lost Interest, that bleak and lonely place where readers everywhere fear spending time in.  OK, maybe that's a bit melodramatic. But if you've found yourself there, and I'm sure you have, you know it's not a fun place for book lovers. Beginning last Friday, from my dark and desolate place (again, I know that's melodramatic but stick with me) I searched and searched for a book to lead me out of the lowland I had sunk into.  I downloaded and began reading five or six books. I returned every single one of them after only a few chapters.  Then I started The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood and it was the perfect book to get me out of my slump. These days with all that's going on in the world, it's easy to become overwhelmed with worry and despair. Easy to get caught up in our own little lives rather than focus on helping others with much larger worries and problems. And no, I wasn't actually feeling sorry for myself that I couldn't get into a book; it's nothing but a minor annoyance. I began my review in this way to point out how we can magnify trivialities in our own lives and get stuck in ourselves, rather than looking around us with compassion and empathy at the very real suffering of others. The author of this memoir, Kien Nguyen, was eight years old when all of Vietnam fell under Communist rule. Life was difficult for everyone except those in charge (as always happens under Communism, despite its ideology of equality for all). Kien and his brother were Amerasian, their fathers American men who had worked in Vietnam. Because of this, they were treated even worse under Communist rule than others.  This book is not easy to read. The things Kien and his family endured is the stuff of nightmares. I was often horrified, wishing I could reach back through time as my adult self and save this young child from the atrocities he both witnessed and endured.  Kien writes openly about his suffering and his pain, reliving the nightmare of his childhood as he sought to free himself of it. For ten long years he suffered horrific abuse, all while clinging to his humanity and hope for a better life. Many memoirs are filled with self-pity and seem intent on gaining the pity of others. Despite all he endured, Kien never comes across in this way. He shows his humanity and his concern for others. He shares not just what happened to him but also the rest of his family.  I cannot imagine going through what Kien did and still finding hope for a better life. And yet he did. Though at times overcome with despair, he was able to dig deep inside himself and find the will and strength to survive. This memoir is compelling and engaging. Mr. Nguyen writes with much clarity and honesty. In the beginning I found some of the dialogue awkward but I think that is due to the fact that conversations don't always translate well into another language. I quickly became used to it and found it added to the authenticity of the book.  I highly recommend this book to those of you who enjoy memoirs or who would like to learn more about what the Vietnamese people endured under Communist rule. Because of his hope in a better life, Kien eventually made his way to America overcoming many obstacles. It is a story of hope and survival and of Kien's indomitable spirit and will to live.  He is an inspiration and a remarkable person and I feel lucky to have been able to read his memoir.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Gallup

    As a student of memoir, I generally prefer examples that include a fair amount of introspection and reevaluation of past events. But analysis is more appropriate for some material than others. A small child living through apocalyptic times is unlikely to display introspection, and the adult author looking back on those times will be intrusive if he does more than simply provide the facts of his experience. Here, I was the one doing the pondering. It's sobering to try and comprehend the multitudes As a student of memoir, I generally prefer examples that include a fair amount of introspection and reevaluation of past events. But analysis is more appropriate for some material than others. A small child living through apocalyptic times is unlikely to display introspection, and the adult author looking back on those times will be intrusive if he does more than simply provide the facts of his experience. Here, I was the one doing the pondering. It's sobering to try and comprehend the multitudes of innocent people who have been caught up in and destroyed by events such as those described here. Everyone (of my generation, at least) remembers the iconic photo of people on the roof of the embassy in Saigon, grabbing the last helicopter out in 1975. If you want some human context for that event -- specifically, concerning those who could not evacuate -- this is the book to read. I also think it's instructive to experience situations like these vicariously, since one never really knows what the future holds. It's also a pointed reminder that good intentions are no guarantee of anything. The outcome described here is obscene in the context of the lofty principles the young people are taught to recite, and doubly so in view of the enormous sacrifices previously made there by Americans and others. The prose betrays no indication that the author is not a native speaker of English, and indeed it includes judicious use of literary devices (the thunder growls like an empty stomach, veins stand out in someone’s throat like fat worms, etc.). It's an easy read -- aside from the fact that the circumstances described go from bad to appalling to hellish, and then to ever deeper levels of hell, proving Dante right. It also reinforces a history lesson that the world ought to have absorbed by now (at the time this was going on, my wife was enduring China's brand of Communism a few hundred miles to the north). It provides a study of what happens to human relationships when the very structure of civilization is turned on its head, and a warning to those of us in the West that we must not take our inherited way of life for granted. I'm left feeling concern for the author, because despite his escape at the end, nobody could live through these experiences without being severely messed up psychologically. I hope writing about it has helped him.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    There is no question in my mind concerning how many stars to give this book. Actually 5 is too little. This is my all time favorite book. Many have it on their "to-read" lists. Put it at the top. Make it the next book you read. The suspense at the end made my heart race. I had to stop to get air. I was racing over the words to find out what would happen even though I knew he would end up on the plane. You KNOW that he ended up in the States, he wrote the book there. I had to know exactly how it o There is no question in my mind concerning how many stars to give this book. Actually 5 is too little. This is my all time favorite book. Many have it on their "to-read" lists. Put it at the top. Make it the next book you read. The suspense at the end made my heart race. I had to stop to get air. I was racing over the words to find out what would happen even though I knew he would end up on the plane. You KNOW that he ended up in the States, he wrote the book there. I had to know exactly how it occured. There is no way a book of fiction can ever, ever create such suspense. And then the message - how to live your life - is so good! And what this book says about people. Horrible, and yet maybe there is hope. I don't know where to start except to say that we all must appreciate our life. Why do people only value what they are about to loose? Why is it so hard for us to appreciate what we have while we have it? As soon as I can I will read Tapestries written by the same author. It is classified as historical fiction, but it based on his grandfather, who is in this book too. It is the author's grangfather who tries to guide Kien toward appreciating life while you have it. The author expresses this musch better than I do. You are making a HUGE mistake if you don't read this book. Yes, it is hard, but life is hard, and the author has humility and he knows that he is only one of many, many others who has lived such horror.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    A quick read - difficult to put down. What a heartbreaking story of a young boy's growing up years. Hard to think how many others shared these same experiences in war torn countries over the years. Makes a person so very grateful for growing up without having to live in a land torn by war. Throughout the story was an underlying story of his mothers' strugle to provide for her family and elderly parents. A very well written description of his perception of his mother and how much she changed over A quick read - difficult to put down. What a heartbreaking story of a young boy's growing up years. Hard to think how many others shared these same experiences in war torn countries over the years. Makes a person so very grateful for growing up without having to live in a land torn by war. Throughout the story was an underlying story of his mothers' strugle to provide for her family and elderly parents. A very well written description of his perception of his mother and how much she changed over a few short years. Reccomended reading for all.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ✨ LADYCOMICBOOK ✨

    Couldn't put this down. Heartbreaking at times, but a truly amazing read. Couldn't put this down. Heartbreaking at times, but a truly amazing read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karyl

    Kien Nguyen isn't much older than my husband, but the horror he lived through in Vietnam as a child is far beyond the scope of any American's imagination. His family, once very wealthy before the fall of Saigon, becomes one of the poorest families in war-torn Vietnam. He and his brother are shunned as "half-breeds," their American ancestry evident in their features. Because his mother was once at the top of society, she is punished in the new Communist regime, and has to give everything up to pr Kien Nguyen isn't much older than my husband, but the horror he lived through in Vietnam as a child is far beyond the scope of any American's imagination. His family, once very wealthy before the fall of Saigon, becomes one of the poorest families in war-torn Vietnam. He and his brother are shunned as "half-breeds," their American ancestry evident in their features. Because his mother was once at the top of society, she is punished in the new Communist regime, and has to give everything up to prove that she renounces her previous capitalist ways. Kien's suffering is magnified by the hatred of his aunt and her family, and he is tormented daily by his cousins. He is abused by his mother's boyfriend, though he has a champion in his grandfather, who constantly stands up for him and tries to protect him. At some point Kien attempts to escape, to find his way to America and possibly find his biological father. But instead he is met with horrific defeat, seeing some of fellow escapees murdered in cold blood. He is then taken to a re-education camp, where he is treated in a most inhumane manner for several months. But eventually, after years and years and years, he is finally rescued and comes to the States through a program for Amerasian kids. It is so difficult for me, a comfortable American, to understand how humans can be so brutal to one another. What I find hopeful, however, is how Nguyen has not allowed himself to become embittered by the horrible things that happened to him in Vietnam. I agree with him that it is important for him to tell his story, so we can see the effects of the Vietnam War on its people, and to understand that the war didn't end once the Americans pulled out. Highly recommend, even though this book is incredibly depressing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elyse

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. True story of an illegitimate boy born to a Vietnamese woman and her American boyfriend. How this kid survived racism, starvation, rape and torture after the fall of Saigon in 1975 and escaping in 1985 is an amazing story. Not maudlin at all but told in a matter-of-fact manner.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vy

    As a freshmen I thought this book was sad but good at the same time.I taught me what my grandparents and parents had to go through when they were young.The book also showed me what Vietnam was like before the communist took over the country and the people's freedom.As I was reading the book I never imagined that he would get rape by his mom's boyfriend.That's just really mean and sad for him.I feel like because of what happened, he learned it and later did it to that girl.I think it should be a As a freshmen I thought this book was sad but good at the same time.I taught me what my grandparents and parents had to go through when they were young.The book also showed me what Vietnam was like before the communist took over the country and the people's freedom.As I was reading the book I never imagined that he would get rape by his mom's boyfriend.That's just really mean and sad for him.I feel like because of what happened, he learned it and later did it to that girl.I think it should be a requirement for highschoolers to read it because it's a good book to learn history.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    So much persecution for such a young boy. Fear and confusion about the meaning behind the hatred were constantly with Kien, who did not initially understand that he had no control over it. Kien's world changed dramatically when he was still a boy. He was forced to grow up knowing that strangers and even his own family were judging him because of his heritage. He was poked, prodded, looked down on and made to feel inferior, and spent most of his first years not knowing why. The way he told his stor So much persecution for such a young boy. Fear and confusion about the meaning behind the hatred were constantly with Kien, who did not initially understand that he had no control over it. Kien's world changed dramatically when he was still a boy. He was forced to grow up knowing that strangers and even his own family were judging him because of his heritage. He was poked, prodded, looked down on and made to feel inferior, and spent most of his first years not knowing why. The way he told his story, after all these years, was touching. He didn't lament his lot in life, he didn't belabor the hatred and rejection, but he put all the facts out there and made the reader feel and understand what it was he went through. It was very well written, and you can't help but to root for Kien, and feel a certain mix of pity and alarm for his mother and brother. The fast-paced ending easily could have been something from an action/fiction novel, yet was the last moments of Kien's life in Vietnam. An amazing view of a boy's strength and determination.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie

    If I could give this book 10 stars I would, a horrific story of what it was to grow up in Vietnam after communist rule took over. I knew life wasn't easy for those who were considered enemies of that government but I never imagined the depth of the horror. And knowing the author and his brother were really American makes this even more horrific. I thank God he was able to escape to America and make a life for himself here. He says he has no plans to write about his life after he came here, he sa If I could give this book 10 stars I would, a horrific story of what it was to grow up in Vietnam after communist rule took over. I knew life wasn't easy for those who were considered enemies of that government but I never imagined the depth of the horror. And knowing the author and his brother were really American makes this even more horrific. I thank God he was able to escape to America and make a life for himself here. He says he has no plans to write about his life after he came here, he says it's not important because he is living a "normal life" just like everybody else but I beg to differ. I came to know and care very much about him while reading his story and I would be very interested in reading how he overcame this kind of childhood to be as well-adjusted as he seems to be. I was and am humbled by his life story. This is one of the "top 10 best books" I have read this year.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Justina

    Just when you think the story can't possibly get any more tragic, it does. This book is not for the faint of heart, but there are not many accounts of life in post-Vietnam war Vietnam. Everyone I know from there escaped in 1975, so to read the story of someone who remained for a full ten years after the Americans left was incredible. Even more so, he is half Vietnamese. I have a half Vietnamese child myself, and I cannot believe that anyone could ever see him as anything other than beautiful. It Just when you think the story can't possibly get any more tragic, it does. This book is not for the faint of heart, but there are not many accounts of life in post-Vietnam war Vietnam. Everyone I know from there escaped in 1975, so to read the story of someone who remained for a full ten years after the Americans left was incredible. Even more so, he is half Vietnamese. I have a half Vietnamese child myself, and I cannot believe that anyone could ever see him as anything other than beautiful. It broke my heart to find out how he would have been treated if he were growing up in a different place and a different time. God bless the man that poor child became.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    The memoir about Kien, An Amerasian, certainly was an awakening to me. This book showed what really happened in Viet Nam before and after the Communist took over Saigon. The heartbreaking story of the survival of these people really made me think twice about our life in the United States of America.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Trinh

    4.5 stars Trigger warnings: war, death, murder, abortion, sexual violence, dog murder, rape, anti-black racism, and forced prostitution of a minor.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chana

    Kien Nguyen is born in 1967 to a Vietnamese mother and an American father. The father goes back to America when Kien is 3 months old but the mother is doing well. She is part owner of a bank, she has another younger Amerasian child, she lives in a mansion with servants, she is pregnant with her Vietnamese boyfriend's baby. Then Saigon falls to the Viet Cong, the last American helicopters leave and Communism takes over and works hard to destroy anyone who has any belongings or hope. A half-breed Kien Nguyen is born in 1967 to a Vietnamese mother and an American father. The father goes back to America when Kien is 3 months old but the mother is doing well. She is part owner of a bank, she has another younger Amerasian child, she lives in a mansion with servants, she is pregnant with her Vietnamese boyfriend's baby. Then Saigon falls to the Viet Cong, the last American helicopters leave and Communism takes over and works hard to destroy anyone who has any belongings or hope. A half-breed child like Kien is hated for being 1/2 "imperialist" "capitalist" American. In the hierarchy of Communism Kien and his family are near the bottom, only 1/2 black Vietnamese fall lower. What follows is so awful that one can hardly believe it as everyone scrambles to look good in the new regime. Kien is blessed in his grandparents, his brother and his intelligence. I was truthfully very angry with him about his treatment of Kim but if she could forgive him then I guess I can. I'm glad that he made it out of Vietnam and I applaud his efforts to overcome the trauma of his early life and to be a productive and happy person.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    One of the reasons I like memoir writing is that the person doesn't have to be a polished writer and it's okay. It is all about the story and the need to get it out there. This is one of those stories that needs to be told. Kien Nguyen is the son of a Vietnamese woman and an American business man. His parents were never married and he never knew his Dad. His family was not able to make it out of Saigon before the Americans pulled out at the end of the Vietnam war. This story details the hardship One of the reasons I like memoir writing is that the person doesn't have to be a polished writer and it's okay. It is all about the story and the need to get it out there. This is one of those stories that needs to be told. Kien Nguyen is the son of a Vietnamese woman and an American business man. His parents were never married and he never knew his Dad. His family was not able to make it out of Saigon before the Americans pulled out at the end of the Vietnam war. This story details the hardships and tragedies suffered by the Vietnamese people under the rule of the Communist Vietcong. Kien's situation was even worse than the average since he was only "half" Vietnamese. Being only half Vietnamese was EXTREMEMLY politically incorrect at the time. This boy's experiences are heart breaking to read about. God bless America and Texas.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shannan

    This book is both easy to read and difficult to swallow, all at the same time. I tried to explain it to my children, who are always interested in the stories I read. As I tried to describe the war and the politics and the culture and the atrocities, I could not help but think that these things happened to this young boy while I was here, in America, well-fed, abundantly-loved, and spoiled rotten. I really did not want it to end. I wanted to read more about his life after Vietnam. I wanted to unde This book is both easy to read and difficult to swallow, all at the same time. I tried to explain it to my children, who are always interested in the stories I read. As I tried to describe the war and the politics and the culture and the atrocities, I could not help but think that these things happened to this young boy while I was here, in America, well-fed, abundantly-loved, and spoiled rotten. I really did not want it to end. I wanted to read more about his life after Vietnam. I wanted to understand if and how he was able to put any of it in perspective and what lessons he took from it. I wanted to know about his brother, who obviously loved him immensely. I wanted to hear about his sister, who never had a chance. And I wanted to know how his mother adapted to life in America. Overall, an incredible story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    A really sad story told by a small boy growing up under the Communist Vietcong . He and his younger brother were the lowest of the low- an Amerasian- the progeny of an Asian mother and an American GI. Again, I am astounded by the atrocities human beings heap upon one another ! This boy was never allowed a childhood-forced to grow up way too fast and endure one horror after another . In the end his family does escape to America- but I was left wondering what happened after that ??? Touching story t A really sad story told by a small boy growing up under the Communist Vietcong . He and his younger brother were the lowest of the low- an Amerasian- the progeny of an Asian mother and an American GI. Again, I am astounded by the atrocities human beings heap upon one another ! This boy was never allowed a childhood-forced to grow up way too fast and endure one horror after another . In the end his family does escape to America- but I was left wondering what happened after that ??? Touching story that really demonstrates the resilience of children and the power of hope.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Montgomery

    The second half of the book held my attention more than the first half. The story was tragic and got more tragic with every page. However, I feel like Nguyen's story is similar to many people who have written memoirs about their impoverished childhoods in war torn countries. Nothing in his story is surprising, but sad nonetheless. I was hoping to learn more about Vietnam from this book, and the author did give some insight into the fall of Saigon and the beginning of the Communist regime in the The second half of the book held my attention more than the first half. The story was tragic and got more tragic with every page. However, I feel like Nguyen's story is similar to many people who have written memoirs about their impoverished childhoods in war torn countries. Nothing in his story is surprising, but sad nonetheless. I was hoping to learn more about Vietnam from this book, and the author did give some insight into the fall of Saigon and the beginning of the Communist regime in the South, but it was more a story about his family.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Missy J

    Interesting book. Sometimes really painful to read. It's an autobiography and I sometimes have difficulties with that, wondering if it's really 100% true or not. Some interesting aspects I found: how Amerasians were given the opportunity to move back to the US and that some of the mixed people were actually not American, but French, the wisdom of Kien's grandparents (my favorite part in the book), the rivalry and jealousy between Kien's mom and his aunt (very sad). But overall, really a painful Interesting book. Sometimes really painful to read. It's an autobiography and I sometimes have difficulties with that, wondering if it's really 100% true or not. Some interesting aspects I found: how Amerasians were given the opportunity to move back to the US and that some of the mixed people were actually not American, but French, the wisdom of Kien's grandparents (my favorite part in the book), the rivalry and jealousy between Kien's mom and his aunt (very sad). But overall, really a painful read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This book is not for the faint of heart. However, I think everyone should read this. As he placed dates with “nightmarish” events in his life, I recalled how old I was, the house I lived in and child hood memories. A cultural experience of postwar Vietnam and a lesson of why our freedoms are so precious. A story you will not forget. The only memoir written by an Amerasain who lived through the fall of Saigon, at a young age, enduring life there for 13 years and who now lives in America.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    A heartbreaking trip back to the spoils of war--this time the Viet Nam conflict is the setting as the Americans try to evacuate as many people as they can. Kien is the child of an American soldier and a Viet Namese mother and is the "unwanted" of the title. They miss the evacuation and the story recounts their hardships trying to get out of the country. My only criticism is I would have liked to know more about the author's eventual rescue and the people who raised him stateside. A heartbreaking trip back to the spoils of war--this time the Viet Nam conflict is the setting as the Americans try to evacuate as many people as they can. Kien is the child of an American soldier and a Viet Namese mother and is the "unwanted" of the title. They miss the evacuation and the story recounts their hardships trying to get out of the country. My only criticism is I would have liked to know more about the author's eventual rescue and the people who raised him stateside.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Akila

    As with most memoirs, this book revealed a story that was painful and heart-wrenching, but more importantly, it showed the monstrosities of humanity and the power of hope and faith. A very short book to read and difficult to put down, Kien Nguyen has portrayed the difficulties of being an Amerasian in Communist Vietnam in the 70s. Beautifully written, a tale so poignant that it will haunt even the hard hearted.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Certainly this man had a horrific childhood. However, I cannot know what of the specific events are accurate. It is improbable at best that a 5 year old can recall full conversations and the dinner menu for a specific night. He has interpreted some events later as an adult but he would not have understood what was happening when they occurred. It isn't a very well written story and would have worked better as a novel rather than a liberally embellished "memoir". Certainly this man had a horrific childhood. However, I cannot know what of the specific events are accurate. It is improbable at best that a 5 year old can recall full conversations and the dinner menu for a specific night. He has interpreted some events later as an adult but he would not have understood what was happening when they occurred. It isn't a very well written story and would have worked better as a novel rather than a liberally embellished "memoir".

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    An amazing and extremely powerful story about a young man and his family's struggles to survive in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and his escape to America. From the start of the story I knew he and his family settled in America, but throughout the book I would find myself forgetting this and I would worry about his fate after every attempt to escape failed. I would love to see this book be required reading for high school seniors. An amazing and extremely powerful story about a young man and his family's struggles to survive in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and his escape to America. From the start of the story I knew he and his family settled in America, but throughout the book I would find myself forgetting this and I would worry about his fate after every attempt to escape failed. I would love to see this book be required reading for high school seniors.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Five stars for sure. The best book I've read since The Glass Castle. Some parts are extremely upsetting... but considering you will only be reading it while he had to live it, stay the course. Amazing, true story of an Amerasian child left in Vietnam when the American soldiers left and the Communists arrived. Five stars for sure. The best book I've read since The Glass Castle. Some parts are extremely upsetting... but considering you will only be reading it while he had to live it, stay the course. Amazing, true story of an Amerasian child left in Vietnam when the American soldiers left and the Communists arrived.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    This story was so tragically moving. It is a memoir and beautifuly written. I cried and was impressed with the ability of the human spirit to survive at all costs. I also learned about how difficult it was during the fall of Saigon after Communism came and why refugees would risk everything to come to America for freedom. I would read future stories by Nguyen.

  27. 4 out of 5

    HTL

    Probably one of the saddest things I have ever read. Hearing about Kien's life after the fall of Saigon was really eye-opening for me. I have family in Vietnam (my father is from there) and this gives me a glimpse into what life was like for them. It also shows me how different my life could have been had I been born in Vietnam during that time instead of in the United States in the 1980s. Probably one of the saddest things I have ever read. Hearing about Kien's life after the fall of Saigon was really eye-opening for me. I have family in Vietnam (my father is from there) and this gives me a glimpse into what life was like for them. It also shows me how different my life could have been had I been born in Vietnam during that time instead of in the United States in the 1980s.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cecile

    This book will break your heart so many times. The author is Amer-Asian, a product of the Vietnam war, who was hated in his home country by everyone for only that reason. He wrote the book as a catharsis to help him put his past behind him and end his horrible nightmares and we are the benefactors. His struggle to escape Communist Vietnam is riveting. I highly recommend this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Starla Patterson

    This book was so sad and graphuc that it gave me nightmares...but it was a great read, and a wonderful tale of triumph in the face of adversity. I highly recommend it to those that are not easily brought to tears.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eva Nickelson

    Haunting tragic, Nguyen relates how he lived poor and as an outcast. Showing the truly frightening side of communism and racism, the only saving grace is that the reader knows how the story ends: he survives.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...