The Re-education of Cherry Truong

Aimee Phan. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-312-32268-7
In her debut novel, Phan traces the difficulties of forming identity and preserving family for Vietnamese refugees on two continents. When Sanh Truong unexpectedly marries Tuyet Vos, neither family is pleased. And Sanh’s parents are further disappointed when Sanh goes with his wife and her family to America after the Vietnam War ends, rather than to Paris with them. Both families encounter difficulties as they try to integrate into their new societies. The Vos family finds commonality but also corruption in the Little Saigon neighborhood of Orange County, Calif., while the Truongs—whose Catholic faith provides a ready-made community in Paris—come to realize the limits of their French hosts’ hospitality. Sanh and Tuyet’s daughter, Cherry, born in the U.S. and coming of age in the late 20th century, is the only one with the potential to develop clarity about both her generation’s struggles and her grandparents’ failings. Told from the point of view of half a dozen characters from three generations, carefully crafted chapters read—with varying degrees of success—like short stories. “People don’t realize how long it takes to heal,” Phan writes. Stretching from 1979 to 2002, this deliberately paced novel demonstrates, through more than two decades of the Vietnamese immigrant experience, how true that is. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, WME Entertainment. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/2012
Release date: 03/13/2012
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4299-6247-6
Paperback - 354 pages - 978-1-250-02402-2
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