The House on Dream Street: Memoir of an American Woman in Vietnam Kindle Edition
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One of the most charming aspects of the book is that Sachs lacks the bravado you'd expect from a solo traveler. Her slow grasp of the language causes no end of frustration, and her Western looks--"bigger, paler, and richer"--make her an object of unwanted attention. Other facets of crowded Hanoi prove equally challenging: maneuvering a bicycle through dangerously narrow streets, fending off the frequent advances of married Vietnamese men, and coping with the complete lack of privacy as well as the elusive Vietnamese concept of destiny. Despite the often-primitive conditions, the watchful eyes of the secret police, and the intolerable, mildewy weather, Sachs manages to portray her newfound home as an explosion of sensory experience, where "the rich, woody scent of freshly steamed rice" fills the air and "commuters whizzed past... their bright clothes trailing pink, orange, purple, and green across the blue-black asphalt of the road." And then there are the people: Tung, her friendly but on-the-make landlord who loves heavy metal; Huong, his critical but loyal wife who harbors untold hidden strengths; Tra, desperate to return to the States and get her doctorate, even at the expense of her marriage; and Linh, also yearning to escape her husband's tight reins. In fact, most of the women with whom Sachs bonds are torn between their family obligations and a dawning realization of their own rights.
Even as her friends struggle to balance personal goals with marital happiness, Sachs finds herself drawn to Phai, a quiet, inexperienced motorcycle mechanic. Their love affair, illegal and unspoken, flames steadily and then flickers out, as the author finds herself unable to overcome their differences and the prospect of marrying into Phai's impoverished family. In the end, she realizes her love for Phai is only a personification of her romance with the country itself--but it's as a chronicle of that romance that The House on Dream Street truly succeeds. In telling the story of her own discovery and growth, Sachs provides a distinctively personal view of a rapidly evolving country as well as the families who are weathering the transition. --Lisa Costantino --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B007R686EW
- Publisher : Algonquin Books; 1st edition (September 8, 2000)
- Publication date : September 8, 2000
- Language : English
- File size : 1111 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 360 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,141,716 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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