*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Author: Kim Thúy
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The youngest of four children and the only girl, Vi was given a name that meant “precious, tiny one,” destined to be cosseted and protected, the family’s little treasure. Daughter of an enterprising mother and a wealthy and spoiled father who never had to grow up, the Vietnam war tears their family asunder. While Vi and many of her family members escape, her father stays behind, and her family must fend for themselves in Canada. While her mother and brothers put down roots, life has different plans for Vi. As a young woman, she finds the world opening up to her. Taken under the wing of Ha, a worldly family friend and diplomat lover, Vi tests personal boundaries and crosses international ones, letting the winds of life buffet her. From Saigon to Montreal, from Suzhou to Boston to the fall of the Berlin Wall, she is witness to the immensity of the world, the intricate fabric of humanity, the complexity of love, the infinite possibilities before her. Ever the quiet observer, somehow she must find a way to finally take her place in the world.
Vi is an artful and masterful story full of vivid emotions and delicate chapters that paint snapshots of the main character, Vi’s life from birth into adulthood. I was swept away by Thúy’s writing, drawn in by her thoughtful prose and quick tempo. Vi’s story is a beautiful one of love, family, immigration, transformation, and self-discovery. She is finding her place in the world, even if it means going against tradition and cultural expectations. She fights to become who she is destined to be, although it causes great distance between her and her family.
This is not a long book. I read the entire thing in 2 sittings over the course of a day. However brief, it is a breath of fresh air inviting you to take it all in. It’s certainly a story that I’ll treasure and read again. Because there are so few pages, there is not much I can delve into without giving away too much, but I encourage you to read this story. If you are a fan of Thúy’s other works then please do pick this one up. Thúy’s writing is so gorgeous. I have not yet read Ru and I read Mãn so long ago, that after reading Vi, I strongly feel that it is time for me to revisit her other novels.
Please read, and let me know what you think! 🙂