Perhaps the reason this new novel for young readers resonated so strongly was that the entire time I was reading it, I remembered the story of King, a Vietnamese immigrant of Chinese ancestry who also escaped his country after the war. Our friend Hal had served with him as a doctor during the Vietnamese War and became his sponsor. King cooked fabulous dishes, introduced the neighbors to his culture and intrigued us all. Until I read this, I don't think I truly grasped how strange we must have seemed.
Book review: Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai