Monday, December 6, 2010

The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb

Camilla Gibb has done it again. It's been worth the five-year wait (since Sweetness in the Belly) to read another nuanced portrait of a young woman searching for her identity, and set in a part of the world that is far from Canada. The Beauty of Humanity Movement is set in contemporary Hanoi. Maggie was born in Vietnam, but fled with her mother to the U.S.A. in 1975, at the very end of the war. Her father, an artist who had been tortured so severely in re-education camps that he no longer had full use of his hands, was to follow them later, but never made it. Maggie has come to Hanoi to catalog a collection of pre-communist era art and to find out whatever she can about her beloved missing father. The cast of supporting characters is fascinating and I read this book in one sitting.

Readalikes: The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly; La Perdida by Jessica Abel; The Eye of Jade by Diane Wei Liang

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