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Title: Palawan Story
Author: Caroline Vu
Publisher: Deux Voiliers Publishing
Review by Job Patstone
Caroline Vu’s first novel relates the extraordinary life of Kim, a child refugee who runs away to escape the Vietnam War under a secret plan organized by her mother. The plan is to help her reach America, where she will hopefully end up living a prosperous, or at least normal, life.
Kim lives in a refugee camp in the Philippines for several years while her case is studied. She grows up quickly in this camp, called Palawan, and learns to endure things an average child would find intolerable. She learns to fend for herself with the help of a volunteer doctor.
Kim is finally adopted by a family in Connecticut. She is spoiled by her new family, but her life is still haunted by what she endured in her hometown of Hue and on the trip she was forced to take to find her freedom.
Kim finally settles in Montréal, where she becomes a doctor herself. She returns to Palawan and Hue to retrace her painful and mysterious past.
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