“Em” is a profound and moving novel covering the Vietnam War, orphaned refugees, the Vietnamese diaspora, and other historical references such as Operation Babylift, Agent Orange, and the Mỹ Lai Massacre.

Btw if you’re ever in Vietnam, go to the War Remnants Museum, which explains what went on during and after the war in such vivid and heartbreaking detail.

Notable lines:

“Certainly, bullets kill, but so, perhaps, does desire.”

“The night before, Tâm had lain down a child; the next day, she awoke with no family. She went from artless laughter to the silence of adults whose tongues have been cut out. In four hours, her long, girlish braids were undone, as she faced the spectre of scalped heads.”

“Memory forgets the distant hands that pulled the strings and the triggers. It only remembers the blows, the aching pain of those blows that bruised roots, snapped ancestral bonds, and destroyed the family of immortals.”

PS-Follow me on Instagram @walkingcookiedough for more book recs!

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