Category Archives: November 2015

Book Review – Palawan Story by Caroline Vu

Palawan Story

Yesterday marked my 1-year anniversary blogging on WordPress (yay, go me, and thank you all for reading and following along my book journey!), and today marks the first book review written in my new home in the Northwest Territories.

Today’s book is called Palawan Story, and it’s about the raw and tumultuous life of Vietnamese refugee Kim Nguyen, who escaped the aftermath of the Soviet takeover of Hue at the end of the Vietnam War to forge a new identity in the United States, and eventually, Canada. Palawan is the Filipino refugee camp where that identity is forged, and where her heart blossoms into what she will someday become. It is also about the lies we tell ourselves and one another, just to survive, whether with our very lives, or merely in society. It is a story of forgiveness. Boiled down, Palawan Story is in some ways, everyone’s story. No one is fully innocent, no one is fully guilty. We are what we choose to make of ourselves, and for Kim that sometimes means being more practical than ethical. The story of society in one turbulent nutshell.

I found this book intriguing, hard to put down, and entirely believable. It was very true to the human consciousness – willing or not, we often choose to forget the things that have harmed us, or choose to ignore the fact that our choices may hurt someone else. In some ways, Kim’s success through all she’s been through can be seen as a triumph, in some ways she reminds me of the ruthlessness humanity can lend itself to in its less than shining moments. As a protagonist, Kim is in every way human, for better or for worse, entirely relatable, and endearing despite her flaws.

For excellent realism, good research, and accurate exploration of the many differing cultures connected to the Vietnam War, I give this book 4 stars out of 5.

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Update from Tulita

Hello, everyone! We have moved and are starting to get settled in our new home in Tulita, Northwest Territories. Canada is such a vast land and so full of diverse climates and ecosystems. Sometimes it’s truly breathtaking! Here is a picture of how beautiful it is here. This was just taken right out my front window, no filter or anything, at sunrise. Absolutely beautiful:

2015-10-27 10.18.22

In other news, my darling kitty, Willow, has passed away. She got some kind of pneumonia, and she died peacefully and loved in my arms the day after Halloween. We are looking into adopting a new cat (or cats), but Willow will always have a special place in our hearts. ❤

And finally, my final piece of news: I was featured on Clancy Tucker’s Blog today as his Guest Book Reviewer! If you’re interested in his blog (it’s very interesting, featuring artists/authors/thinkers/athletes of note, as well as those starting out like myself) or in the interview, click the hotlink above and check it out! I’ve been pretty busy potty-training Ivy and setting up house, but I’m still almost done Palawan Story by Caroline Vu, so expect a review on that coming out soon.

As always, peace out and happy reading! ❤