Rated of 5
by Hilary H. (Bristol, RI)
Dragon House - mixed reviews
Though I enjoyed this book, I had mixed feelings as I read it. The writing seemed uneven - it was slow at the beginning though the end of the story tears along. It made it hard to pick between good and average when rating this one.
The topic was appealing - a daughter of a Vietnam vet goes to Vietnam with her Iraq War injured friend to complete a project that her father (the vet) had started before his death. The project is to create a residence/school for street children. The author does a great job of describing Ho Chi Minh City, the street children and the surrounding area. The children are the strongest characters - from their meager existence/threats from adults/limited prospects for the future to discovering that they did have options and people do actually care about what happens to them. The other Vietnamese characters - the assistant at the Center, the policeman with bad eye sight but hopes for his country, even the nasty, opium smoking Loc - were developed sympathetically so that you really are interested in what happens to them. Other parts of the story less imaginative.
I do appreciate that the author plans to donate funds from the book to the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation.