Vietnam. 1968. A peaceful village by the Mekong is destroyed by American soldiers. The only survivors of this brutal attack are sisters, Mai, and Tam. Traumatized and orphaned, the two sisters are suddenly dependent on their own mettle for survival. Making their way to Saigon, they are given work from a sympathetic restaurant owner, set up in a refugee camp, and attempt a precarious existence in their new reality. Older, serious-minded Tam is bent on survival. Younger, idealist Mai is seeking a finer life. An irreparable rift separates the two and each goes off on their own to face their uncertain futures. After meeting an influential figure with an agenda, Tam is persuaded to fight for the North. After years on the run and hiding from the law, Tam feels aged. She is tired of being alone and longs for sanctuary. Mia’s beauty pays off working in a Saigon bar frequented by lonely, thirsty American GIs. After an emotional rejection, Mai has more at stake than ever and is desperate to find security and safety. A bending of events brings both sisters to America where once again, they must each rely on their own wits and grit...until fate finally decides to criss-cross their paths. A magnificently written novel of courage, sacrifice, survival, and ultimately family fidelity. Highly recommend A Bend in the River. Thank you to NetGalley and The Red Herrings Press, for the read of Libby Fischer Hellmann's. A Bend in the River.
Opinions expressed are my own.