The Lotus and the Storm
By Lan Cao
(Viking Books, Hardcover, 9780670016921, 388pp.)
Publication Date: August 14, 2014
List Price: $27.95*
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Half a century after it began, the Vietnam War still has a hold on our national psyche. Lan Cao's now-classic debut, "Monkey Bridge," won her wide renown for "connecting . . . the opposite realities of Vietnam and America" (Isabel Allende). In her triumphant new novel, Cao transports readers back to the war, illuminating events central to twentieth-century history through the lives of one Vietnamese American family.
Minh is a former South Vietnamese commander of the airborne brigade who left his homeland with his daughter, Mai. During the war, their lives became entwined with those of two Americans: James, a soldier, and Cliff, a military adviser. Forty years later, Minh and his daughter Mai live in a close-knit Vietnamese immigrant community in suburban Virginia. As Mai discovers a series of devastating truths about what really happened to her family during those years, Minh reflects upon his life and the story of love and betrayal that has remained locked in his heart since the fall of Saigon.